University Professor Emeritus
In the University President’s Dialogue in 2006 describing the reason for the special distinction of University Professor Emeritus, the President said: “John McMurtry is an internationally recognized scholar and University professor emeritus-elect who has made outstanding contributions in the discipline of philosophy. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a President’s Distinguished Professor, McMurtry is known for being engaged both in the classroom and the community. He studies the philosophies of politics, economics, education, literature, history and the environment, and his work has been published in more than 150 books and journals. Most recently, he has focused his research on the value structure of economic theory and its consequences for global civil and environmental life. McMurtry was selected by the United Nations as organizing author and editor of Philosophy and World Problems, which will be included in the Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems.”
B.A. / M.A.- University of Toronto.
Ph.D. University College London.
Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada
FRSC Citation (2001)
John McMurtry is a pioneer of social philosophy. His research has specialized in leading academic as well as public understanding into unexamined normative infrastructures which oppress human and environmental life—decision-excluding education, violent sport as a social paradigm, sexuality as a property-structure, mechanistic Marxism, the denial of children’s personhood, left-right categorization, the military paradigm of war, zero-sum competition, the transcultural logic of censorship, and the global market as a life-blind value system. His work has been communicated across the world and has frequently let to others’ research projects and to public policy formation.
Since full-time research leave, I have responded to two main streams of requested research publication and communication. The first has been keynote lectures, conference papers, articles and chapters with a unifying concern – to lay bare the value syntax of the now ruling world system and its reflective realms of philosophy and theory as blind in principle to their common life-ground and its universal necessities at organic and ecological levels. Logic and scientific method, the nature of the mass media, 9-11 and the 9-11 wars, the corporatization of higher education, and social justice theory have been interconnected areas of this deep-structure analysis. My work in these and other areas is also featured in a full-length film (Zeitgeist), periodic public radio interviews from Chicago-New York (Progressive Radio Network) and other international venues.
My second and principal research and publication stream over the last seven years has followed from the invitation by the Secretariat of UNESCO/EOLSS (Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems, Paris-Oxford) to construct, author and edit Philosophy and World Problems as an online multi-volume study relating world philosophies East and West to the determining problems of life on earth from the past into the present global crisis. Three sub-volumes entitled Modes of Reason, Western Philosophy and the Life-Ground, and Philosophy, Human Nature and Society have been constructed and edited with distinguished philosophers contributing to five topic areas in each of these general fields. The longer title study by me is an encompassing step-by-step critical study of world philosophies across fields to explain the inner logic of each canon and school in relationship to universal world problems across cultures and times towards principled resolution in life-coherent terms (as spelled out at the end of this webpage). This research program under the auspices of UNESCO has deployed the new ground and method of life-value onto-axiology to excavate, explain and resolve life-blind presuppositions of the world’s major thought-systems from the ancients East and West to Modern and Contemporary Philosophy, including related theories of the social sciences. The underlying core assumptions and principles of each thinker and school have been critically explained and related to the world in light of three related meta questions:
(1) What are the ultimately regulating principles underlying the distinguishing concepts, arguments and theories of each?
(2) Where do they most deeply fail to take life-and-death issues into account and otherwise mislead us in how to think and live?
(3) How can reason, felt being and action – the ultimate fields of value – comprehend and enable individual, social and ecological life in more coherently inclusive ways across differences and distances?
By following these lines of question through humanity’s most influential theories of what is real, true and good, life-value onto-axiology moves underneath dominant specialty divisions which have increasingly lost their life bearings amidst planetary social and ecological collapse. Two further refereed works have been completed for the UNESCO Encyclopedia to explain the ultimately underlying principles of the major world religions from their primary sources East and West. For a summary outline of the collected works on this project now available under my name at the world’s most comprehensive research site, see the last section of this webpage.
Books Since 1997
Unequal Freedoms: The Global Market As An Ethical System. Toronto and Westport Ct: Garamond and Kumarian Press, 1998.
The Cancer Stage of Capitalism. London and Sterling Va.: Pluto Press and Tokyo: Springer, Verlag, 1999-2001.
Value Wars: The Global Market versus the Life Economy. London and Sterling, Va.: Pluto Press, 2002.
Philosophy and World Problems. Oxford: Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS) under the Auspices of UNESCO, 2004 -11 [google Eolss].
The Cancer Stage of Capitalism/ From Crisis To Cure, London and Halifax: Pluto and Fernwood Press with Palgrave Macmillan, 2013 (376 pages, expanded second edition).
Selected Chapters in Books since 1997
“The Regulating Group-Mind” (2010) in (eds. Albert J Mills et al), Encyclopedia of Case Study Research”, North Park Newcastle Upon Tyne, GB: Sage Group.
“Economic Globalisation and Ethico-Political Rights” (2011) in (ed. Bernard Hodgson/Deborah Poff), Encyclopedia of Applied Philosophy Oxford: Elsevier.
“Environmental Peace and Holistic Theories” (2010) in (ed. Nigel Young), Oxford International Encyclopedia of Peace, Oxford: Oxford University Press
“Transnational Corporate Trade versus Public Health: The Undeclared War of Rights Systems” (2010) in (ed. Andre den Exter), International Trade Law and Health Care, Netherlands: Erasmus University Press.
“The Postmodern Voice of Empire: The Meta-Program of Unaccountability” (2007) in (eds.) John C. Hawley and Revathi Krishnaswamy, The Post-Colonial and the Global. Minneapolis: Minnesota University Press, 228-38.
“The Meta-Program of Power” (2006), (ed.) Jeffery Klaehn, Bound By Power. Montreal: Black Rose Books, 105-19.
“9-11 and the 9-11 Wars: Supreme Crimes and Complicity in Them” (2005) in (eds.) David Ray Griffin and Peter Dale Scott, 9-11 and American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out. Northampton Mass: Interlink Press, (129-49) x 50-70.
“Understanding Market Theology” (2004) in (ed.) Bernard Hodgson, The Invisible Hand and the Common Good: Heidelberg and New York: Springer Studies in Economic Ethics and Philosophy, 151-83.
“The New World Order: The Hidden War of Values” (2003) in (ed.) Gordana Yovanovich, The New World Order. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s Press, 23-40.
“Reclaiming the Teaching Profession: From Corporate Hierarchy to the Authority of Learning” (2003). Toronto: Ontario Association of Deans of Education and Ontario Teacher’s Federation Conference Keynote, 1-17 booklet (published by Queen’s University Faculty of Education).
“The Life Code versus the Money Code of Values: Understanding the Global Ecological Crisis”, (2002), in The Human Ecological Footprint: Guelph: Hammond Lectures, 115-32.
“The Planetary Life Crisis: Its Systemic Cause and Ground of Resolution” (2002), in (eds) Peter Miller and Laura Westra, Just Ecological Integrity. Boston: Rowman and Littlefield, 180-92.
“Competition” and “Forms of Consciousness” (2002), in (ed. Lawrence Becker) Encyclopedia of Ethics. New York: Routledge, 267-70, 574-77.
“The Moral Structure of the Military Paradigm” (2000), in (eds) Lee Bowey et al, Questions in Ethics and Social Philosophy. New York: Harcourt-Brace, 185-200.
“Caging the Poor: The Case Against the Prison System” (2000) in (eds) Gordon West and Ruth Morris, The Case for Penal Abolition. Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press, 167-87.
“World Order by Trade and Investment Decree: The Global Corporate System” (1999) in (ed.) Walter Dorn, World Order for a new Millennium / Political, Cultural and Spiritual Approaches to Building Peace.
“The Global Market Ideology: Anatomy of a Value System” (1997) in (ed.) Ted Shrecker, Surviving Globalism / The Social and Environmental Challenges. London and New York: Macmillan and St. Martin’s Press.
“Sex, Love and Friendship”, (1997) in (eds) Alan Soble and Barbara Krishner, Sex, Love and Friendship, Value Inquiry Book Series, Takoma: Rodopi, 169-81.
Selected Articles in Historical Profile
“Corporate Child Abuse: The Unseen Global Epidemic” (2013), Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) Monitor Vol 20: No.5, 1-7, and reproduced in http://www.globalresearch.ca/corporate-child-abuse-the-unseen-global-epidemic/5352919
“The Moral Decoding of 9-11: Beyond the U.S. Criminal State” (2013), Journal of 9/11 Studies Volume 35, 1-67, http://www.journalof911studies.com/resources/2013McMurtryVol35Feb.pdf reproduced in http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-moral-decoding-of-9-11-beyond-the-u-s-criminal-state-the-grand-plan-for-a-new-world-order/5323300.
“Behind Global System Collapse: The Life-Blind Structure of Economic Rationality” (2012) Journal of Business Ethics Vol. 108: No.1, 49-60.
“Human Rights versus Corporate Rights: Life Value, the Civil Commons and Social Justice 2011), Studies in Social Justice, Vol 5, No 1. Special Issue: Life Value and Social Justice, 11-61 https://journals.library.brocku.ca/index.php/SSJ/issue/view/61 edited for publication as 13 successive articles 2011-12, http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-rights-of-the-human-over-the-non-human-the-undeclared-world-war-of-human-rights-versus-corporate-rights/28429
“The University Wars: Corporate Administration versus the Learning Vocation” (2009), Public, Faculty and Student Address, University of Saskatchewan (http://www.usaskfaculty.ca/publications/11-02%20VOX%20-%20Corporate%20Univ%203%2 0column.pdf), Wikipedia, and (abbreviated) CCPA Monitor.
“Interview with John McMurtry” (2010), Il Manifesto (Italy) reproduced as “Current crisis is destabilizing finance, economy, ecology”, CCPA Monitor 16:9, 40-42.
“Rationality and Scientific Method: Paradigm Shift in an Age of Collapse” (2009), Interchange, 40:1, 69-91.
“Myths of the Global Market” (2007), New Internationalist, Issue 401, 36-40.
“Why the Protestors Are Against Corporate Globalization” (2002), Journal of Business Ethics 34:3, 201-205.
“Life-Value Economics vs. The Neoclassical Paradigm: Reply to Hodgson” (2001), Journal of Business Ethics 34:3, 79-86.
“The Social Immune System and the Cancer Stage of Capitalism” (1995), Social Justice, 4, 1-25.
“Education and the Market Model” (1991) Journal of the Philosophy of Education, 2, 209-18.
“How Competition Goes Wrong” (1991) Journal of Applied Philosophy, 2, 200-210.
“Rethinking the Military Paradigm” (1991) Inquiry, 4, 415-432.
“The Unspeakable: Understanding the System of Fallacy of the Media” (1988), Informal Logic 3, 133-150.
“The Argumentum ad Adversarium” (1987), Informal Logic, 1, 27-36.
“Fascism and Neo-Conservatism: Is There a Difference?” (1983) Praxis International , 1, 86-102. 1983.
“Philosophical Method and Rise of Social Philosophy” (1981), Eidos, 2, 139-176.
“The Case for Children’s Liberation” (1979-80) Interchange 3: 387-412.
“How to Tell the Left From the Right” (1979), Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 3, 387-412.
“Making Sense of Economic Determinism” (1973), Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 2, 249 – 262.
“Monogamy: A Critique” (1972), The Monist 4: 588-600.
“Kill ‘Em, Crush ‘Em, Eat ‘Em Raw” (1971/75), Atlantic Monthly / The Norton Reader, New York: W.W.Norton, 399-406.
UNESCO Encyclopedia Documents under John McMurtry (EOLSS)
- PHILOSOPHY AND WORLD PROBLEMS – WHAT IS GOOD? WHAT IS BAD? – THE VALUE OF ALL VALUES THROUGH TIME, PLACE AND THEORIES
Values, what is of worth or not, and why, define the human species across differences, domains and ways of life. They construct …
- TRADITIONS AS MORAL ANCHOR IN AN AGE OF CRITERIONLESS RELATIVISM
This chapter examines the grounding of value theory by the two leading schools of moral praxis – traditional Marxism, whose onto…
- DESIRELESS RELEASE FROM SUFFERING: HOW UNIVERSAL LIFE NECESSITIES ARE ABSTRACTED OUT
On the one hand, the Buddhist revolution is momentous in its liberation of life from the trammels of inherited false religion. S…
- RECOVERING THE CHOICE AND MEANING SPACE OF PERSONAL IDENTITY
While expert consensus in the field of personal identity has not yet let go of the sameness reduction, few young philosophers st…
- FORMALIZING THE RULING VALUE-SEQUENCE CONTRADICTION WITH LIFE REALITY
The generating core contradiction of the ruling system is laid bare by identifying the opposition of two internally consistent s…
- THE QUESTION OF INTERNATIONAL ENFORCEABILITY OF LIFE-PROTECTIVE RIGHTS
Legal scholars widely agree that the problem with even legally binding covenants on life-protective rights is the problem of enf…
- RAWLS’ CORE MORAL INCOHERENCE
Although Cohen’s metonym of inequality is striking, it misses the deeper derangements of Rawls’ ‘difference principle’ a…
- SYSTEM REGULATORS DETERMINE WHAT THE INTERESTS ARE, NOT THE OTHER WAY ROUND
Since self money-capital possession seeks to become more money-capital possession through time and place with no other regulator…
- PHILOSOPHY’S METHOD OF TRANSCENDENTAL DEDUCTION
- INNER LIFE ANGST OF EXISTENTIALISM WITHOUT WIDER MORAL MEANING
In more resolutely individual form, the decoupling of individual angst from the social and ecological life-ground recurs in the …
- HOW WE KNOW THE INTERNAL VALUE OF ANY THOUGHT SYSTEM
Conceptual thought like image thought admits are measurable in terms of the life-range metric. That is, in the first instance, t…
- NATURAL GOOD AND EVIL
This chapter unpacks the most dominant value principle of the contemporary world –
competition to survive – and explains from G….
- MORAL PHILOSOPHY IN QUESTION
What is the ground of value by whose compass we ought to live? This essay explains why this ultimate question is screened out by…
- THE TRANSCULTURAL IDEA: GOOD AS HAPPINESS AND BAD AS PAIN
Although the possibility of any universal value is widely denied by contemporary philosophers, one meta-theory of value stands o…
- THE GLOBAL CRISIS OF VALUES
This chapter provides an overview value-system analysis of how we live and reason, explaining the unexamined presuppositions whi…
After developing sound criteria to recognize false religion across cultures and times, critical explanation lays bare the princi…
- HUMAN IDENTITY AND THE MEANING OF LIFE
This concluding section of the Theme level writing— ‘Philosophy and World Problems’— lays bare the inner logic of a comp…
- RECLAIMING RATIONALITY AND SCIENTIFIC METHOD: THE LIFE-COHERENCE PRINCIPLE AS GLOBAL SYSTEM IMPERATIVE
This chapter explains what has long been missing across domains and levels of analysis: (1) the life-blind inner logic regulating…
- THE UNSEEN GLOBAL WAR OF RIGHTS SYSTEMS AND ITS PRINCIPLES OF RESOLUTION
Individual rights are typically understood as the basic medium of modern society’s relations. They are recognized entitlements…
- DEEP PRINCIPLES OF JUSTICE GROUN
This analysis defines and explains the ultimately regulating principles of justice theory over 2500 years East and West, critica…
- THE LOST SOCIAL SUBJECT: EVALUATING THE RULES BY WHICH WE LIVE
Showing that neither the ethics of individual decision nor immutable laws can comprehend the social subject and its choice space…
- THE VALUE FIELD OF ACTION: RECONCILING HUMANITY AND THE BEAST
This chapter analyzes the third ultimate field of value, the terrestrial life field of action. It shows why relevant theories – …
- GOOD AND EVIL WITHIN: OPENING THE TERRA INCOGNITA OF THE FELT SIDE OF BEING
This chapter explains the long-repressed value field of the felt side of being. Peeling back epochal layers of theoretical deval…
- THE PRIMARY AXIOM AND THE LIFE-VALUE COMPASS
Given the long failure of philosophy to find any sustainable universal ground of value, the Primary Axiom of Value explains the …
- WESTERN PHILOSOPHY AND THE LIFE-GROUND
For Western philosophy, “life support systems” (LSS) may be assumed to mean merely emergency medical devices, because there …
- THE IRON CENTURY
More’s awareness of LSS going hand in hand with proper governance is echoed in the writings of another influential modern poli…
- GREEN THOUGHT
Particularly important is the case of the mystical thinker Hildegard of Bingen (10981179). Known as the ‘Sybil of the Rhine’…
The chapter examines the development, in theory and practice, of liberal democracy from a life-grounded perspective. The chapter…
- ENVIRONMENTAL PHILOSOPHY AND ITS ONTO-ETHICAL PROBLEMS: ANCIENT, MEDIEVAL AND CONTEMPORARY WORLD-VIEWS
The chapter traces the evolution of environmental philosophy from Pre-Socratic Greek Thought to the present. Its focus is on the…
- PHILOSOPHY, HUMAN NATURE, AND SOCIETY
The chapter traces the development of critical social philosophy out of the speculative metaphysical tradition. It argues that I…
Note: Numbers 25-30 are written by Professors Giorgio Baruchello and Jeff Noonan on the basis of life-value onto-axiology.
Published or in publication process:
VISIONS OF UNIVERSAL IDENTITY IN WORLD RELIGIONS: FROM LIFE-INCOHERENT RELIGION TO LIFE-GROUNDED SPIRITUALITY