Dr Josh Miller
1B 11
Sociology Department
IB 41
Main Building: South Block

Short CV

Dr Josh Platzky Miller is a Lecturer in Sociology at the University of the Free State.

Previously, Josh was an NIHSS Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa) and an Affiliated Lecturer in politics and development studies at the University of Cambridge (UK).

[Google Scholar] [ResearchGate] [Academia.edu]


2023. “From the ‘History of Western Philosophy’ to Entangled Histories of Philosophy: The Contribution of Ben Kies”. British Journal for the History of Philosophy. DOI: 10.1080/09608788.2023.2188898.

2023. “The Future of the History of Philosophy”. The Philosopher 111(1) - Centenary Issue: 28-33. [URL] [Open Access]. (with Lea Cantor)

2023. “Schools of struggle: social movement learning in the Brazilian high school student occupations (Primavera secundarista, 2015–2016)”. Globalisation, Societies and Education. DOI: 10.1080/14767724.2023.2179026.

2022. “Control, Extract, Legitimate: COVID-19 and Digital Techno-opportunism across Africa”. Development and Change. 53(6): 1283-1307. DOI: 10.1111/dech.12734. (with Antoine Sander and Sharath Srinivasan

2022. “Radical Democracy and Educational Experiments: Lessons for South Africa from Brazil and Rojava”. South African Review of Sociology 52(2): 131-151. DOI: 10.1080/21528586.2022.2076256

2022. “Imagination, Decolonization, and Intersectionality: The #RhodesMustFall student occupations in Cape Town, South Africa”. Social Movement Studies. DOI: 10.1080/14742837.2022.2079120 (with Antje Daniel

2022. [in Portuguese] “Imaginação, Descolonização e Interseccionalidade: as Ocupações Estudantis #RhodesMustFall na Cidade Do Cabo, África Do Sul”. Revista Estudos Libertários 4(12):128-158. [URL] (with Antje Daniel, trans. Cello Latini Pfeil) 

2021. “A Fanonian theory of rupture: from Algerian decolonization to student movements in South Africa and Brazil”, Critical African Studies 13(1):10-28. DOI: 10.1080/21681392.2021.1884106

2021. “COVID-19, Technology, and Surveillance in Africa”. In: Social Sciences Research Council (SSRC), Surveillance and the `New Normal` of Covid-19: Public Health, Data, and Justice. New York: SSRC. [Link] (with Sharath Srinivasan

2018. “On Epistemic Diversity, Ontologies and Assumptions in Capability Approaches”. In: Comim, Fennell & Anand, eds. New Frontiers of the Capability Approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 139-153. DOI: 10.1017/9781108559881.007


Book Project: The Myth of Western Philosophy (In process since March 2020, Coauthored with Lea Cantor)

The basic question this book raises is whether ‘Western Philosophy’ is a coherent concept. This may seem like a strange target. Over the last century, there has been a remarkable consensus about what constitutes the ‘canon’ of ‘Western Philosophy’. We find recurring, roughly similar patterns of characters and narratives throughout university courses, prominent Histories of Western Philosophy (both academic and popular), TV programmes, and even more recently, YouTube channels. Despite its popularity, seeming stability, and apparent unassailability, this book argues that ‘Western philosophy’ lacks the theoretical and historical foundation which academics and pundits seem so confident about. One of the pillars of ‘Western Philosophy’ is its implausible origin story, traceable to the 18th century, according to which the Greeks supposedly `invented’ or `discovered’ rationality and philosophy, and abandoned religion and mythology. While this way of framing the origins of Greek philosophy has long been challenged by specialists, it continues to underpin recent accounts of the history of `Western Philosophy`. ‘Western philosophy’ also prides itself in being a continuous tradition. Yet a 700-year gap (between about 500 CE and 1200 CE) – in which no philosopher worthy of mention was active, if histories of ‘Western philosophy’ are to be believed – would suggest otherwise. In tracing the idea of ‘Western philosophy’ to late-18th century European histories of philosophy, we seek to provide a more accurate picture of how philosophy developed from antiquity to modern-day Europe. We aim for the book to lay the groundwork for new visions of a global, entwined, connected history of philosophy: one which neither makes ‘Western Philosophy’ the singular measuring stick for philosophy globally, nor uses the idea of ‘Western Philosophy’ to seal off parts of Europe from exchange with the rest of the world, either retrospectively or for generations to come.

An international conference related to this project took place 28-30 April 2023 at Oxford University (organized in collaboration with Lea Cantor and Philiminality Oxford).

Currently, publications from this project include:

  • Platzky Miller, J. and L. Cantor. 2023. “The Future of the History of Philosophy”. The Philosopher 111(1): 28-33. [Order Online] [Open Access]
  • Platzky Miller, J. 2023. “From the ‘History of Western Philosophy’ to Entangled Histories of Philosophy: The Contribution of Ben Kies”. British Journal for the History of Philosophy. [DOI]
  • Cantor, L. 2022. “Thales - the `first philosopher`? A troubled chapter in the historiography of philosophy”. British Journal for the History of Philosophy30(5): 727-750. [DOI]


Area(s) of Interest

Social movements, African and Latin American politics and political thought, social epistemology and the imagination, political theory, critical pedagogy, and the global history and historiography of philosophy.

Courses Presented


SOCP2624: Population dynamics & environmental issues

SOCP6808: The sociology of population and the environment


At the University of Cambridge, Josh coordinated and lectured on Social Movements and Development, lectured on African Politics, and gave undergraduate supervisions in sociology and politics (Comparative Political Economy of Latin America, Introduction to International Relations, and Introduction to Sociology: Modern Societies and Global Social Problems).

Josh has also co-organised public education ‘teach-out’ programmes for the UCU in Cambridge, guest lectured on Social Movements in Africa and Latin America (University of Vienna and at the School of Advanced Study, University of London), on Social Science Research Methods (American University of Cairo) and tutored Political Philosophy (University of Cape Town).


T: +27 51 401 2240 or humanities@ufs.ac.za

Marizanne Cloete: +27 51 401 2592

Katlego Mabulana: +27 51 401 2495
Juanita Hlongwane: +27 51 401 3269

Humanities photo next to contact block

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