Assistant Professor Sandra Leonie Field is a political philosopher. Her research investigates conceptions of political power and their implications for democratic theory; she approaches these themes through engagement with texts in the history of philosophy, especially Hobbes and Spinoza. She is the author of Potentia: Hobbes and Spinoza on Power and Popular Politics (Oxford University Press, 2020). A three-minute video summary is available via HPBin3.
More broadly, she teaches and is interested in political thought, theory, and philosophy, both historical and contemporary; moral philosophy, both Western and non-Western; and social theory.
Asst Prof Field is a committed teacher; she strives to connect philosophy and theory to students’ lived experiences. Student writing from her classes is showcased at http://equalitydemocracy.commons.yale-nus.edu.sg.
Asst Prof Field completed her PhD in Politics at Princeton University in 2012, in the Program in Political Philosophy. She holds a Masters degree in Philosophy at the University of New South Wales (Australia), where she was also awarded a University Medal for her Honours research. Her undergraduate studies were in Mathematics and Philosophy at the University of Sydney.
Asst Prof Field’s research interests include early modern political philosophy (especially Hobbes and Spinoza); democratic theory; and concepts of power. She has also written on non-Western political philosophy.
She is the author of Potentia: Hobbes and Spinoza on Power and Popular Politics (Oxford University Press, 2020). The book draws on the political writings of Hobbes and Spinoza to establish a conceptual framework for understanding the genesis, risks, and promise of popular power. It makes an original contribution at the intersection of early modern philosophy and democratic theory. A three-minute video summary is available via HPBin3.
Asst Prof Field supervises student capstone research in moral and political philosophy and social theory:
‘The Self in Surveillance’
‘Divine Justice and the Problem of Evil’
‘Collective Responsibility for Sexual Violence’.
‘Fighting Fire with Fire: A Case for Radical Feminism in South Korea’.
‘Seed, Trim, Stake, and Hedge: State Management of Corporate Disruption in the Garden City’.
‘Sisters in Islam: A Case of Islamic Civil Society‘. Featured in the 2018 APSA Undergraduate Research Week.
Field, S. L. 2020. Potentia: Hobbes and Spinoza on Power and Popular Politics, New York: Oxford University Press.
The book draws on the the political writings of Hobbes and Spinoza to establish a conceptual framework for understanding the genesis, risks, and promise of popular power. It makes an original contribution at the intersection of early modern philosophy and democratic theory.
Open access for the first chapter is available via Oxford Scholarship Online. The Political Theory Review podcast hosted a discussion of the book. A three-minute video summary is available via HPBin3.
Field, S. L. 2021 (forthcoming). ‘The Politics of Being Part of Nature‘. Australasian Philosophical Review, 5(4).
Field, S. L. 2020. ‘Political Power and Depoliticised Acquiescence: Spinoza and Aristocracy‘. Constellations: An International Journal of Critical and Democratic Theory, 27(4), 670-684.
Field, S. L. 2014. ‘Hobbes and human irrationality’, Global Discourse: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Current Affairs and Applied Contemporary Thought, 5 (2), 207-220.
Field, S. L. 2014. ‘Hobbes and the question of power’, Journal of the History of Philosophy, 52 (1), 61-86.
Field, S. L. 2012. ‘Democracy and the multitude: Spinoza against Negri’, Theoria: A Journal of Social and Political Theory, 59 (131), 21-40.
Field, S. L. 2021 (forthcoming). ‘Hobbes on power and gender relations’. In Marcus Adams (ed.) A Companion to Hobbes. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, Chapter 11.
Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
Field, S. L. 2019. ‘Course Design to Connect Theory to Real-World Cases: Teaching Political Philosophy in Asia‘, Asian Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 9(2), 199-211.
Review Essays (4,000+ words)
Field, S. L. 2021. Review Essay: The Ethics of Joy: Spinoza on the Empowered Life, by Andrew Youpa. Mind. DOI: 10.1093/mind/fzab002.
Field, S. L. 2020. ‘China and England: On the Structural Convergence of Political Values‘. Responding to China and England: The Preindustrial Struggle for Social Justice in Word and Image, by Martin Powers. Journal of World Philosophies, 5(1), 188-240.
Field, S. L. 2021. Review of Hobbes’s On the Citizen: A Critical Guide, edited by Robin Douglass and Johan Olsthoorn. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
Field, S. L. 2019. Review of Becoming Political, by Christopher Skeaff. Contemporary Political Theory, 19 (S2), S116-S120.
2021. ‘Spinoza’s Political Philosophy’, ThinKnow: A Magazine of Ideas, 1(2), 21-28.
2020. ‘Why big protests aren’t a good measure of popular power’, OUPBlog, 2 July 2020.
2016. ‘What’s in a name? How a democracy becomes an aristocracy’, Democracy Futures series, The Conversation, 7 October 2016.
2015. ‘Contentious politics: Hobbes, Machiavelli, and corporate power’, Democracy Futures series, The Conversation, 20 November 2015.
2015. ‘The will of the people: multitude or mob?’, The Philosopher’s Zone, Australian Broadcasting Corporation Radio National, 14 June 2015.
Modern Social Thought (Course Convenor 2021-22)
Philosophy and Political Thought I & II
The Political Philosophy of Spinoza
Student writing from Asst Prof Field’s classes is showcased at http://equalitydemocracy.commons.yale-nus.edu.sg.