My name is Maks Sipowicz. I’m a Polish-Australian writer living and working in Naarm (Melbourne). I’m educated as a philosopher and I hold a PhD from Monash University. Though I am no longer an academic, I still continue some of my research interests, particularly at the intersection of the history of philosophy and political philosophy. These days, most of what I write is essays about books and short fiction. My work has been published in Meanjin, Sydney Review of Books, 3:AM Magazine, Australian Book Review and lots of other places.
In my literary writing, I am directed primarily by curiosity. I’ve long since stopped trying to articulate what directs my reading interests, and these direct my writing interests. The authors I’m currently most interested in are: Clarice Lispector, Roberto Bolaño, Olga Tokarczuk, Dorota Masłowska, Thomas Pynchon, Thomas Bernhard, Christina Stead, and Ania Walwicz.
My PhD research focused on the influence held by René Descartes’ final book, Les Passions de l’Âme (Passions of the Soul, 1650) in England. By looking closely at the work of Henry More, Mary Astell, John Norris, Margaret Cavendish and Walter Charleton, my thesis explored the ways in which the Cartesian theory of the passions was used to define ideas about health, wellbeing, and virtue. This research has been published, or is forthcoming, in Studia z Historii Filozofii, Intellectual History Review, and collected editions published by well-regarded presses. My current research is an extension of my thesis, and I am working on papers investigating questions about other under-studied aspects of Descartes’ intellectual legacy, particularly his egalitarian politics and his view of evil. I’ve got a growing interest in 20th and 21st century “continental philosophy”, political theory, and ancient philosophy.
Philosophy After Dark has been many things since I first started the blog. At one point I had the aspiration to turn it into a magazine, but now it is very much a place for me to share my writing and ideas. Occasionally, I have featured guest posts by my friends.