What does it mean to write philosophy and theory in the middle of a health crisis? (João Florêncio)

By João Florêncio

Soon after the COVID-19 pandemic reached Europe, triggering a variety of national public health responses throughout the continent, several theorists and philosophers started publishing texts online and in printed media, trying to make sense of what had become a planetary public health event due to the scale of its geographical reach, its global real-time mediation and the more or less concerted responses from national governments and public health authorities. Whilst debates immediately ensued on social media concerning the latest position on the topic advanced by this or that writer, some academics on social media were quick to declare their outrage at the fact that some of their peers had jumped on the COVID-19 bandwagon (as it were), supposedly with the sole aims of developing their public profile and profiting from a public health crisis. But such a call is deeply shortsighted.

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