Joseph Trullinger

Joseph Trullinger

Assistant Professor of Honors and Philosophy
Rome 564, Office Hours: T 2:15-4:15
Phone: 202-994-7290
[email protected]

Joseph Trullinger

Current Research

The idea guiding my various research interests is an exploration of religion as a resource for moral imagination. Grounded within my long-standing interest in the historical context and inner consistency of Kant’s psychology of “moral religion” or “ethicotheology,” my research aims to clarify the positive potential of religion as a force for social progress and liberation. Acknowledging that there are many resources for this way of thinking, I look at this potential in heterodox Christian traditions ranging from the Pietism that shaped Kant to liberation theology in the current day. Since coming to GW, I have come into conversation with colleagues whose knowledge base and acumen have challenged me to further develop my thoughts on the contemporary relevance of Kant’s ethicotheology for our current political situation. While continuing to work out the details of Kant’s ethicotheology, I have also begun to extend the implications of ethicotheology for Friedrich Schiller and the early German Romantics who philosophized in Kant’s wake, as well as for the critical social thought of Herbert Marcuse in the 20th century, who uses Schiller’s framework to articulate a radically utopian vision. In this way, my research forms a historical arc, stretching from Kant and his predecessors and bending toward twentieth century thinkers who notice a similar potential for traditional ideas to be rearticulated in a way that clarifies the conditions for (and desirability of) a society defined by inclusivity, fairness, and self-determination.


“The Liberating Possibilities of the Sublime for Marcuse’s Project of Aesthetic Education,” to be included in an edited volume, Multidimensional Marcuse: Radical Thought/Radical Action Today (paper accepted, volume under review with Palgrave Macmillan)


“Leisure is Not a Luxury: The Revolutionary Promise of Reverie in Marcuse,” Radical Philosophy Review 19:2 (2016), 1-21

“Kant’s Endorsement of the Fear of God,” in Rethinking Kant, Vol. 4, ed. Pablo Muchnik and Oliver Thorndike, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015.

“Kant’s Neglected Account of the Virtuous Solitary,” International Philosophical Quarterly 55:1 (March 2015), 67-83

“Kant’s Two Touchstones for Conviction: The Incommunicable Dimension of Moral Faith,” The Review of Metaphysics 67.1 (December 2013), 369-403


Classes Taught

PHIL 3100.80 TR 9:35-10:50

Special courses recently taught:

• Evil
• Spinoza and His Critics: Nihilism, Pantheism, and the Crisis of Reason
• Myth as Truth