A collection of papers.


“Wor(k/d)play.” Garden of Ideas, Vol. 2, 2023 - Issue 1. Issue currently under progress.

Abstract. In this essay, we challenge the notion that wordplay lacks depth and meaning. Drawing from philosophers like Plato, Derrida, Wittgenstein, and Saussure, we explore wordplay as a playful engagement with signifiers and their relationships. By embracing irony and comedic play, we uncover new perspectives on language and its limitations. We argue that wordplay offers a valuable tool for critical writers to expand meaning and open doors to alternative modes of understanding. This essay encourages the embrace of wordplay as a meaningful means of inquiry and expression. Disclosure: LLM-generated abstract.

“Economy of the Dataset: Marx and Large Language Models.” Written for Reboot Fellowship, 2023 cohort. March 2023.

Abstract. I argue that the massive datasets utilized by large language models introduce metaphysical and theological complexities, which can be better understood through an examination of Marx's analysis of commodities and capital. I contend that the focus shifts from the content to the form of data in the creation of general-purpose language models, resulting in a fetishization of the Dataset itself. By exploring the parallels between form as money and the concealment of labor, I shed light on the philosophical implications of dataset creation and its impact on our understanding of new technologies. This analysis aims to offer computer scientists, laypersons, and philosophers a nuanced perspective on the economy of the Dataset and how language models interact with and manipulate information. Disclosure: LLM-generated abstract.

“The Wartime State and the Cigarette: Darkness and Temporality in Pale Horse, Pale Rider.” The Explicator, Volume 80, 2022 - Issue 1-2, pages 30-33. Publisher’s link.

Abstract. Although often overlooked due to its sparse occurrence, the symbol of the cigarette offers a new model to understand key themes of darkness and temporality in Katherine Anne Porter’s *Pale Horse, Pale Rider*. Adam is Miranda’s metaphorical cigarette, a device of light and relief from a society pervaded by the darkness of war and sickness. Despite Miranda’s pleas, Adam is committed to his guaranteed extinguishment serving in the war. The driving motion throughout the novella is that of an unspoken but relentless temporality - the metaphorical cigarette flame ceases into darkness as Adam’s departure nears. This temporality can be understood as a creation of the wartime state, whose systematic movement and organization of human life dominate Adam’s being and hence controls Miranda’s psychological being and self-relation to her world. Porter’s work illustrates the devastating power of the wartime state to impose the metaphysics of inevitable darkness upon its citizens.
From the Katherine Anne Porter Society's 2022 Porter Scholarship bibliography: "Andre Ye’s “The Wartime State and the Cigarette: Darkness and Temporality in Pale Horse, Pale Rider,” *The Explicator* 80.1-2 (2022): 33-36, hones in on the cigarette’s three appearances in the story and argues for its symbolic value as a fleeting light during the dark days of war.


“Seeing Water: Building International Justice Beyond Embodied Metaphysics”. Final essay for PHIL 407, International Justice.

Abstract. The technological world that we occupy and experience has come to introduce an alternative disembodied metaphysical plane: our digital existences are regulated by very different axioms of temporality and locality than our physical existences. My aim is to show that the metaphysics of the digital world demands a critical recontextualization of approaches in International Justice, and to propose and clarify several important starting questions for this line of inquiry. By providing a metaphysical reading of political theory, this essay attempts to ‘see water’.

“Ethical Crisis Under the Husserlian Epoché: Restoring the Normative Force of Doubt”. Final essay for PHIL 458, Phenomenology.

Abstract. Husserl's epoché suppresses the very conditions in which it emerges: doubt. It is precisely the negation of doubt which forces the epoché to acquire an ethically monstrous character. I explicate the problem of the epoché and attempt to propose a reframing of the method which more truly respects its own conditions of possibility.

“Subject Without Subjectivity: John Rawls and Liberalism through the Sixties”. Research project for HSTAA 465, The Sixties in America.

Abstract. I argue that a historicist reading of Rawls demonstrates his introduction of the "subject without subjectivity" as a response to the social and political exigencies of the sixties. Rawls pushed liberalism to explicate specific structural relationships of subjugation and exploitation between political subjects, whereas previously it had favored abstract impersonal principles. However, still committed to the liberal dream of a unified social order, Rawls denied the subject its political subjectivity. With this double-gesture, Rawls distanced liberalism from its pre-sixties apoliticism and simultaneously retained its hope for a united society.

“Object and Orgasm: A Manifesto of the Melancholy”.

More than ever, we need melancholy -- with and in the political, ethical, philosophical, spiritual. A personal exposition of happiness and desire. In progress.

“On the Computational-Adversarial Production of Simulacrum”. In submission.

Abstract. Drawing upon the computational paradigm of the Generative Adversarial Network, used in the field of Artificial Intelligence to produce DeepFakes and other literal digital simulacrum, we formulate a computational-adversarial framework to understand the evolution of simulacrum-producing machines into maturity. Such a framework provides a strongly materialist mode of cultural and social analysis. Across its demonstrated application across four contexts – the designation of intelligent beings, the tangibility and deterrent power of nuclear weapons, the simulacra of gender, and the contradictions of colonialism – it proves to be a useful intellectual scaffold both to understand and reinterpret simulacrum and simulations. Crucially, it allows us to discover and understand – in very present, palpable, materialist terms – internally antagonistic wholes that generate unity out of difference and uncover difference in unity, systems for which self-reflection is simultaneously self-refraction.

“Generative Models as Simulation of Labor-Power”. Submitted to 2023 Stanford PAIS (Philosophy, AI, and Society Workshop). Wasn’t accepted, but I think it is a cool concept.

Abstract. Forthcoming.