Activist social philosopher to speak on ‘market theology’


John McMurtry, a leading Canadian critic of globalism, will speak at York on Thursday as the latest guest in the Faculty of Arts’ Division of Social Science Winter Lecture series. McMurtry’s public talk, “Understanding Market Theology”, is co-sponsored by the Business & Society Program, Political Science Dept. and the Social & Political Thought Program, and will be held in S752 Ross Building, from 2:30 to 4:30pm.

McMurtry, right, (PhD. London) is professor emeritus of philosophy at the University of Guelph, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and honorary theme editor of philosophy and world problems for the UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. His most recent books are Value Wars: The Global Market versus the Life Economy (London, 2002), The Cancer Stage of Capitalism (London and Tokyo, 1999), and Unequal Freedoms: The Global Market as an Ethical System (Toronto and Westport CT, 1998). He is also the author of The Structure of Marx’s World-View (Princeton, 1978) and his forthcoming book is “The Economics of Life and Death: Inside the Paradigm Revolution” for Pluto Press.

The Royal Society recognized McMurtry for his contributions to social philosophy, calling him a “pioneer” in the field. It said his research has improved both academic and public understanding into unexamined areas that oppress human and environmental life. These include decision-excluding education, violent sport as a social paradigm, sexuality as a property-structure, mechanistic Marxism, the denial of children’s personhood, the military paradigm of war, zero-sum competition, the global market as a life-blind value system, and the transcultural logic of censorship. The society also noted that McMurtry’s work has aided other’s research projects and the formation of public policy.

McMurtry earned his doctorate from University College, University of London. Before entering academia, he was a professional football player, print and television journalist, world traveller and English teacher. Most recently, McMurtry has focused his studies and research on the value structure of economic theory and its consequences for global civil and environmental life. He also is known for his work in the philosophies of politics, economics, education, literature, history and the environment. His research has been published in more than 150 books and journals.