CFP: Mattias Desmet: Critical Responses

Submission deadline: December 15, 2022

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We’re looking for abstracts of essays that will become chapters in an edited collection titled Mattias Desmet: Critical Responses. We are shooting for a publication date of Christmas 2023.

This book will be the third in the Critical Responses series published by Carus Books under its Open Universe imprint, following Jordan Peterson: Critical Responses (2022) and Sam Harris: Critical Responses (2023). The series focuses on thinkers who have a popular online following in addition to their scholarly reputation.  The books are aimed primarily at general readers interested in the thinker in question, though we also expect a significant minority of readers to be scholars.

Chapters must focus on topics that are closely connected to the life, work, or cultural impact of Mattias Desmet, and especially to the actual content of the ideas he advocates. Chapters should not be merely exposition, nor merely expressions of agreement or disagreement with Desmet’s ideas, but should critically and fairly assess particular aspects of Desmet’s thinking. The prose style should be unpretentious, relaxed, and conversational, not stuffily academic.

Mattias Desmet is best known for his book The Psychology of Totalitarianism (2022), but chapters may also focus on his other writings and numerous online interviews and presentations.  Any aspect of Desmet’s ideas may be tackled. Some possibilities include the inadequacy of materialist metaphysics, the psychology of groupthink, the causes of totalitarianism, the perversions of science including the replication crisis, the cultural implications of ‘bullshit jobs’, the social and political mechanisms involved in mass formation, and the limits of rationality.  We seek a diverse range of viewpoints.

Submission Guidelines:


1.     The due date for the initial round of submissions is December 15, 2022. Please submit an abstract (approx. 300 words) and CV by e-mail to Sandra Woien at [email protected]

2.     Notification of accepted abstracts: January 10, 2023

3.     Final chapters should be approximately 4000 words. Submission deadline for first drafts of papers: April 30, 2023.

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