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Dr. Mathew Abbott

Senior Lecturer, Humanities

Pathways, Humanities and Social Sciences



Mt Helen Campus, Online


Grounded in modern European philosophy, Dr Mathew Abbott’s research encompasses political thought, moral philosophy and aesthetics. Dr Abbott’s work also contributes to film studies, art theory and literary theory. Mathew’s current research focusses on modernism, naturalism, ecology, and self-consciousness.

Mathew has published widely, including in top-ranked international journals. He has placed two monographs with Edinburgh University Press: The Figure of This World: Agamben and the Question of Political Ontology (2014) and Abbas Kiarostami and Film-Philosophy (2016). Routledge published his collection Michael Fried and Philosophy: Modernism, Intention, and Theatricality (2018). His research has been translated into Italian and Persian.

Mathew has spoken at academic events in Oxford, London, Essex, Lancaster, New York City, Montreal, Amsterdam, Münster, Karlsruhe, Valletta, Porto, Lucca, Santiago, and Auckland. In 2018 he was Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the University of Leipzig’s Research School of Analytic German Idealism.

Animality, self-consciousness, and the human form of life a hegelian account

This article develops a Hegelian account of self-consciousness by grounding it in being animal....

Grey gardens and the problem of objectivity: Notes on the ethics of observational documentary

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  • Book Chapters

On Film in Reality: Cavellian Reflections on Skepticism, Belief, and Documentary

  • Book Chapters

Recognizing Human Action

Monroe Beardsley once remarked in passing—as though the point he had made were obvious and not in...

  • Journals

Grey Gardens and the Problem of Objectivity

This article turns to the Maysles brothers' 1975 film Grey Gardens to problematize the...

lyric Poetry

This chapter characterises an aspect of the relationship between philosophy and lyric poetry by...

Michael Fried and Philosophy

Michael Fried and Philosophy Modernism, Intention, and Theatricality

This volume brings philosophers, art historians, intellectual historians, and literary scholars...

Modernism and the discovery of finitude

Clement Greenberg's way of resolving the tension between what he took to be the necessary...

Martin Heidegger

It would be hard to overstate the importance of Martin Heidegger’s philosophy for Giorgio...

No life is bare, the ordinary is exceptional: Giorgio Agamben and the question of political ontology

[No abstract available]

The creature before the law

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The Look of Silence and the Problem of Monstrosity

In Beyond Moral Judgment, Alice Crary defends a version of moral objectivism which turns on the...

Abbas Kiarostami and Film-Philosophy

  • Book

Glory, Spectacle, and Inoperativity: Agamben's Praxis of Theoria

  • Book Chapters

The Problem of Wild Minds: Knowing Animals in Grizzly Man and Ming of Harlem


The figure of this world: Agamben and the question of political ontology

What if we’ve been wrong when reading Agamben? The work of the Italian Continental philosopher...

  • Book

Kiarostami's Picture Theory: Cinematic Skepticism in The Wind Will Carry Us


New Quarrels: Innovative Poetry & The Philosophical Horizon

  • Conference Proceedings

The Appearance of Appearance: Absolute Truth in Abbs Kiarostami's ABC Africa

In Ten on Ten, a 2004 documentary featuring ten short scenes in which Abbas Kiarostami speaks in...

  • Journals

No Life is Bare, the Ordinary is Exceptional: Giorgio Agamben and the Question of Political Ontology

In this article I develop a theory of political ontology, working to differentiate it from...

  • Journals

The Myth of the Earth: Heidegger, Poetry, Politics

  • Book Chapters

On Not Loving Everyone: Comments on Jean-Luc Nancy’s “L’amour en éclats [Shattered Love],”

The thinking of love, so ancient, so abundant and diverse in its forms and in its modulations,...

  • Journals

THE ANIMAL FOR WHICH ANIMALITY IS AN ISSUE nietzsche, agamben, and the anthropological machine

There is congruence between Nietzsche’s philosophy of life and the biopolitical philosophy of...

THE ANIMAL FOR WHICH ANIMALITY IS AN ISSUE nietzsche, agamben, and the anthropological machine


The poetic experience of the world

In this article I develop Heidegger's phenomenology of poetry, showing that it may provide...