Landon Frim is an assistant professor of philosophy at Florida Gulf Coast University and an ordained rabbi. His primary research concerns the intersections of religion, ethics and politics. He investigates socialism, populism and the alt-right movement. An avid writer, his work can be found in Jacobin Magazine, Salvage Magazine, Inside Higher Ed and The New Republic.
Areas of Expertise (18)
Stony Brook University & Philipps-Universität Marburg: Ph.D., Philosophy 2012
Transatlantic Collegium of Philosophy
Stony Brook University: Graduate Certificate, Cultural Studies 2010
Stony Brook University: M.A., Philosophy 2009
Florida Atlantic University: B.A., Philosophy 2007
Florida Atlantic University: B.A., Interdisciplinary Studies 2007
- French (read and write only)
- Latin (read and write only)
- Hebrew (read and write only)
Selected Media Appearances (10)
Reported 'alien' sightings jump in Florida following release of Pentagon UFO videos
Dr. Landon Frim talks about the psychology behind people spotting UFOs.
The psychology behind theories linking 5G and coronavirus
Dr. Landon Frim discusses the psychology behind theories linking 5G and coronavirus.
Headless chickens and goat skulls are part of Santeria. But neighbors worry the remnant carcasses will bring nuisance alligators
The News-Press print
Dr. Landon Frim discusses the origins of Santeria and its intersection with Catholicism.
Understanding Santería and Afro-Cuban spiritual traditions
The News-Press print
Dr. Landon Frim discusses Santeria.
The centuries-old history of Jewish “puppet master” conspiracy theories
Dr. Landon Frim comments on the antisemitic attack in Pittsburgh.
Steven Pinker: False Friend of the Enlightenment
Jacobin magazine online
Dr. Landon Frim and his co-writer Harrison Fluss discuss Steven Pinker's new book.
Aliens, Antisemitism, and Academia
Jacobin magazine online
Dr. Landon Frim and his co-writer Harrison Fluss discuss alt-right politics and philosophy.
Mill, Mao and Socrates
Inside Higher Ed online
Dr. Landon Frim and his co-writer Harrison Fluss discuss teaching in polarized era.
What Bernie and the Left Need Now: A Radical Enlightenment
The New Republic online
Dr. Landon Frim and his co-writer Harrison Fluss discuss Bernie Sanders' 2016 campaign.
A Realist’s Utopia
Dr. Landon Frim discusses the Israeli and Palestinian peace process.
Selected Event Appearances (3)
Should the State Teach (a Secular) Ethics?
Ethics Across the Curriculum Conference Grand Rapids, Michigan
Violence and Peace in Islam
Annual Khatib Lecture St. Joseph’s College
Marx’s Metaphysics: Re-interpreting Marxist Humanism through a Rationalist Metaphysic
Historical Materialism Conference New York University
Research Focus (1)
Enlightenment philosophy of Baruch Spinoza
The philosophy of Baruch Spinoza represents the most radical, rationalist tendency within the Enlightenment tradition. In the context of 17th Century Europe, Spinoza argued for political toleration, representative democracy, and secularism. He grounded these positions in a consistent worldview or “metaphysics.” This worldview was one of an intelligible universe, governed by equally intelligible, natural laws — free from miracles, mysteries, or a theistic God. Today, Spinoza’s system serves as inspiration for those philosophers, political scientists, and intellectual historians who see the Enlightenment project as yet to be completed. It affirms the power of human reason in the face of superstition, parochialism, and unaccountable authority.
Selected Research Grants (1)
Support for the St. Joseph's College ethics research
Rubin Foundation $10,000
This grant supported research and teaching in the field of ethics, especially student participation in team ethics debates.
Selected Articles (3)
2019 ‘Universal benevolence’ may be defined as the goal of promoting the welfare of every individual, however remote, to the best of one’s ability. Currently, the commonest model of universal benevolence is that of ‘impartiality,’ the notion promoted by Peter Singer, Roderick Firth, and others, that every individual (including oneself) is of equal intrinsic worth. This paper contends that the impartialist model is seriously flawed. Specifically, it is demonstrated that impartialist accounts of benevolence (1) attempt to draw positive moral conclusions from negative premises, (2) draw actual conclusions from merely counterfactual premises, (3) fail to live up to stated claims of naturalism, and (4) give no compelling account of moral motivation. By contrast, I propose an alternate model of universal benevolence, grounded in the Stoic, cosmopolitan theory of oikeiôsis, i.e. ‘appropriation.’ Such a model, in contradistinction to impartiality, would see benevolence as the positive identification between moral agent and moral patient, rather than a charitable sacrifice of oneself for a distinct but equal other. An ethics of oikeiôsis has the further benefit of avoiding each of the four above mentioned conceptual pitfalls common to impartialist theories.
Landon Frim and Harrison Fluss
2018 Dr. Landon Frim writes about the accelerationist movement in both left- and right-wing politics.
2017 The international relations (IR) curriculum has long presented a dichotomy between the so-called “realist” and “idealist” positions. Idealists seek to embody universal norms of justice in foreign policy. Realists, by contrast, see competition between states, the balance of power, and relative advantage as basic to international politics. Though considered polar opposites, both the realist and idealist affirm the primacy of the nation state as a sovereign political unit, and so neither embraces cosmopolitanism in the strongest sense, i.e., the transcendence of national divisions as such. Opening up the IR curriculum to such a radical possibility requires its reframing in terms of underlying, ethical worldviews. Under this lens, it becomes evident that the realist and idealist share far more in common than contemporary policy debates would suggest. It also points us toward the space for an alternate ethical worldview, provided by Stoic rationalism, which is more viable for grounding cosmopolitan thought.