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Incels, Warriors, and Masculine Self-Love

Samuel Shpall (University of Sydney)

In this paper I attempt to contribute to the philosophical study of the incel phenomenon, and of contemporary masculinity more broadly. I begin by giving a characterisation of incel ideology, explaining how incel thinking is related to and distinct from the thinking of other manosphere misogynists. I then discuss some limitations of popular and plausible ideas about the explanatory utility of the notions of objectification and entitlement. Finally, I appeal to Tom Digby's work on the intersection of heterosexuality and militaristic cultural programming as a way of beginning to explain some of the most puzzling and disturbing features of incel psychology. Throughout the paper, I emphasise the significance of reflecting on, and reforming, dominant masculine imaginaries.



This event will be broadcast live from Senate House via Zoom. For those who intend to join virtually the link to the zoom meeting will be emailed to you upon registration. 


The Institute of Philosophy hosts a regular workshop series entitled ‘The Practical, the Political, and the Ethical’.
The series was created in 2015 by Véronique Munoz-Dardé (UCL) and Hallvard Lillehammer (Birkbeck) in order to discuss work in progress from visiting speakers. This year the series is convened by Mollie Gerver
 (Essex) and Jonathan Gingerich (KCL).  Talks are normally 50 minutes (no pre-circulation of the paper), followed by discussion. All are welcome.