Anthony Edward Garruzzo

Anthony Edward Garruzzo

7th Year Graduate Student | Ph.D. program in Philosophy

2023-2024 Columbia College Core Preceptor

My primary research interests are in social and political philosophy and 20th-century European philosophy. My work centers on the theory of power relations and the theory of social systems. I address contemporary debates in these areas through engagement with the writings of Michel Foucault, Hannah Arendt, and Jürgen Habermas. 

My dissertation ("On Social Order and Disorder: Foucault, Habermas, and Arendt") argues that the account of social order advanced in Foucault’s work challenges central commitments of classical social theory, commitments that culminate in the work of Habermas. Foucault’s central insight is that social systems (‘dispositifs’) must be analyzed in terms of the rational strategies underlying how they exercise control over those subject to them. Social systems, then, are ‘rational’ entities not in the functionalist sense defended by Habermas (i.e. in that they mediate social relations to provide for the conditions necessary for the reproduction of society as a whole) but in an administrative sense, since they undertake strategies for administering, governing, and controlling social activities. This view implies that social order is brought into being through the strategies, tactics, and techniques of social systems and that social disorder consists of whatever dimensions of social and political life cannot be totally anticipated, controlled, or mastered—what Arendt calls human ‘natality’.

I also have interests in feminist theory and the philosophy of art.