Loren Goldman

LG photo

Assistant Professor

Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics, Room 332

My research centers on German Idealism, Hegelianism, Western Marxism, and American Pragmatism, with particular emphasis on time, history, and political agency. In The Principle of Political Hope (Oxford University Press, 2023), I describe hope as an indispensable aspect of much German and American political thought, and I am now working on a book about the idea of historical and political generations. I have written about John Dewey, Richard Rorty, Immanuel Kant, Ernst Bloch, William James, Wendy Brown, political hope, the idea of the future, modern classical music, the appearance/reality distinction, ontological materialism, ChatGPT, and Mad Men, among other things, in venues including Political Theory, Theory & Event, Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society, Analyse & Kritik, Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, The Journal of the Philosophy of HistoryPraktyka Teoretyczna, Perspectives of New MusicNew Political Science, European Journal of Social TheoryThe Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Political Thought, The Cambridge Habermas Lexicon, and William James Studies, for which I used to be book review editor (2013-2018). At the moment, Max Tomba and I are co-editing a special issue of the journal History of the Present on the legacy of Thomas Müntzer and the German Peasants’ War, to appear on its 500th anniversary in 2025. Another work in progress is a chapter on the French Icarians” who established utopian communities in Illinois, Missouri, and Iowa in the late 19th century. Since 2022, I have been an associate editor of the journal New Political Science.

I dabble in mediation, having co-translated (with Peter Thompson), introduced, and annotated Ernst Bloch’s Avicenna and the Aristotelian Left (Columbia University Press, 2019). I am currently at work on a translation of Bloch's Thomas Müntzer as Theologian of Revolution, under contract with Columbia.

I have coordinated Penn’s Political Theory Workshop since 2017 and am a member of the faculty Graduate Group in the Department of Francophone, Italian, and Germanic Studies. In the classroom, I lecture on modern and American political thought, and have taught seminars on topics including the philosophy of history, ideas of progress, German political thought, utopianism, American Pragmatism, Hegel & Marx, Western Marxism, and anarchism. I received the Pi Sigma Alpha Society's Henry Teune Award for excellence in undergraduate teaching in 2018, a year when, according to a rigorously scientific online poll in The Daily Pennsylvanian, my American Political Thought lecture was the most popular class on campus.

In the Fall of 2019, I was a Visiting Fellow in the Department of Philosophy at the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin. Previously, I was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Ohio University (Department of Political Science, 2013-2016); before that, I held a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities at UC Berkeley (Department of Rhetoric, 2011-2013) and a was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Rutgers University Center for Cultural Analysis (2010-2011).

I live with my family in wonderful West Philly. 

Office Hours
Mondays 10AM-12PM or by appointment

Ph.D., MA, Political Science, University of Chicago (2010, 2005)

M.Phil., Politics, University of Oxford (2003)

DAAD Jahresstipendiat, Philosophy, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt (2000-2001)

BA, Political Science, Yale University (2000)

Courses Taught

Undergraduate: American Political Thought; Modern Political Thought; Utopia and Its Critics; Anarchism

Graduate: German Political Thought; Philosophies of History; American Pragmatism; Hegel, Marx & Beyond; Western Marxism; Ideas of Progress

Selected Publications

Principle of Political Hope Cover


 The Principle of Political Hope: Progress, Action, and Democracy in Modern Thought (Oxford, 2023).





Avicenna Cover


  Ernst Bloch, Avicenna and the Aristotelian Left (Columbia, 2019), translation (with Peter Thompson), including an introduction and annotations.





-“Matter, Music, and Ecology in Ernst Bloch and George Crumb,” with Susanna Loewy, Perspectives of New Music 61, no. 1 (2024; in press).

-“The Miraculous End of Political Hope,” Critical Review of Social and Political Philosophy (2024; in press). 

-“Experimentation and the Future(s) of Political Hope,” European Journal of Social Theory 27, no. 2 (May 2024), 153-173.

-“The Matter of Bloch’s Philosophy of Nature in the Shadow of Idealism, in Rethinking Ernst Bloch, ed. Henk de Berg and Cat Moir (Brill, 2024), 180-205.

-“The Future is Now: ChatGPT Confessions of a Blochhead,” New Political Science 45, no. 3 (August 2023), 551-554.

-“Reading Wendy Brown in Ludwigshafen: Non-Synchronicity and the Exhaustion of Progress, in Power, Neoliberalism, and the Reinvention of Politics, ed. Amy Allen and Eduardo Mendieta (Penn State, 2022), 63-79. 

-“William James, Energy, and the Pluralist Ethic of Receptivity,” Theory & Event 23, no. 3 (July 2020), 706-33.

-“Left Hegelian Variations: on the Matter of Revolution in Marx, Bloch, and Althusser,” Praktyka Teoretyczna 35, no. 1 (April 2020), 51-74.

-“Richard Rorty, Homo Academicus Politicus,” Analyse & Kritik 41, no. 1 (May 2019), 31-70.

-“Revisiting the Social Value of College Breeding,” in Pragmatism Applied: William James and the Challenges of Contemporary Life, ed. Michael Levine and Cliff Stagoll (SUNY, 2019), 31-56.

-“Utopia” and “Ernst Bloch,” in The Cambridge Habermas Lexicon, ed. Amy Allen and Eduardo Mendieta (Cambridge, 2019).

-“Richard Rorty’s ‘Post-Kantian’ Philosophy of History,” The Journal of the Philosophy of History 9, no. 3 (November 2015), 410-443.

-“Appearance/Reality” and “Pragmatism,” in The Encyclopedia of Political Thought (Wiley-Blackwell, 2015).

-“In Defense of Blinders: On Kant, Political Hope, and the Need for Practical Belief,” Political Theory 40, no. 4 (May 2012), 497-523.

-“John Dewey’s Pragmatism from an Anthropological Point of View,” Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 48, no. 1 (Winter 2012), 1-30.

-“Another Side of William James: Radical Appropriations of a ‘Liberal’ Philosopher,” William James Studies 8 (2012), 34-64. 

CV (file)