William Clare Roberts

Academic title(s): 

Associate Professor

Contact Information

855 Sherbrooke St. W.
Montreal, Quebec
H3A 2T7

Email address: 
william.roberts3 [at] mcgill.ca
Ferrier 426
Research areas: 
Political Theory

Political Theory

Areas of interest: 

In the history of political thought: Marx and Marxism, ancient Greek political philosophy (especially Aristotle), classical political economy, Heidegger and his students.

In contemporary ethical and political thought: republicanism, moral particularism, institutionalism and non-ideal theory.

In social theory and philosophy of the social sciences: social ontology, institutional economics, prudential rationality.

Selected publications: 


Journal Articles

  • "The Idea of Emancipation after Postcolonial Theory." Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies 19:6 (August 2017): 747-763. DOI: 10.1080/1369801X.2017.1347055.

  • “Compulsory Schooling: The University, the Market, and the Work Students Do,” part of a “Critical Exchange on Education and Scholarship in the Twenty-First-Century Marketplace,” Contemporary Political Theory 14:4 (November 2015): 409-433.

  • "All Natural Right Is Changeable: Aristotelian Natural Right, Prudence, and the Specter of Exceptionalism," The Review of Politics 74 (2012), 261–283

  • “The Reconstitution of Marxism’s Production Paradigm: The Cases of Benjamin, Althusser, and Marx,” Philosophical Forum 41:4 (Winter 2010): 413-440.

  • “Marx in Hell: The Critique of Political Economy as Katabasis.” Journal of Critical Sociology 31:2 (Spring 2005): 37-53.

Book Chapters

  • “Feuerbach and the Left and Right Hegelians.” In The History of Continental Philosophy, Volume Two: The Revolutionary Responses to the Existing Order (1840-1900), edited by Daniel W. Conway, general editor Alan D. Schrift. Stocksfield, UK: Acumen, 2010, 17-34.
  • “Abstraction and Productivity: Structures of Intentionality and Action in Marx’s Capital.” In Marx and Contemporary Philosophy, edited by Andrew Chitty and Martin McIvor. Harmondsworth, UK: Palgrave MacMillan, 2009, 188-203.
  •  “The Origin of Political Economy and the Descent of Marx.” In Marx, Critical Theory, and Religion: A Critique of Rational Choice. Edited by Warren S. Goldstein. Leiden: Brill Publishers, 2006, 31-58.  (Paperback edition, Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2009.)
Associate Professor