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Department of Philosophy
Kym Maclaren

Kym Maclaren


Associate Professor


BA (Toronto); MA, PhD (Pennsylvania State)




416-979-5000 ext. 2700

Email Address:

Research Interests:

Phenomenology; Existentialism; 20th century French philosophy (especially Merleau-Ponty); Philosophy of Mind and Embodiment; Philosophical Psychology; Social Philosophy
[Letter to Prospective Graduate Students]
Kym Maclaren founded the Transformative Justice Project at Ryerson University. The Transformative Justice Project works, in collaboration with community organizations, to
(1)  establish initiatives that address the social conditions leading to and resulting from incarceration;  and
(2) develop other, more transformative and community-based, forms of justice.
TJP’s current project involves facilitating conversations between youth and previously incarcerated people who were involved in gang-associated street-life. The aim is to encourage reflection on the social conditions of street conflict, to open up a sense of other possible life trajectories, and to enhance community engagement and respect for self and others.  We're also aiming to institute a program inside prisons that will enable the same kind of conversation and reflection for incarcerated youth, with a focus on Black social history.

Selected Publications & Presentations:

Edited Collections:

  • Morris, David and Kym Maclaren, eds. Time, Memory, Institution: Merleau-Ponty’s New Ontology of Self. Forthcoming, Ohio University Press, 2015.
  • Maclaren, Kym, ed. Special Issue: Intimacy and Embodiment: Phenomenological Perspectives. Emotion, Space and Society 13 (2014)

Selected Articles, Chapters, and Commentaries:

  • “Intimacy as Transgression and the Problem of Freedom.” Puncta: Journal for Critical Phenomenology 1 (2018):18-40.
  • “Merleau-Ponty on Human Development and the Retrospective Realization of Potential.” Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 16(4) (2017), 609-621.
  • “The ‘entre-deux’ of Emotions: Emotional Institutions and their Dialectic.” In Perception and its Development in Merleau-Ponty's Phemenology, edited by John Russon and Kirsten Jacobson.  University of Toronto Press, (2017): 51-80.
  • “The Magic Happens Inside Out: A Reflection on the Transformative Power of Self-Expression and Dialogical Inquiry in Inside-Out Prison Exchange Courses,” in “Engaged Philosophical Inquiry,” ed. Barbara Weber and Jennifer A. Vadenboncoeur, special issue, Mind, Culture, Activity 22, no.4 (2015): 371-385.
  • “Touching Matters: Embodiments of Intimacy.” Emotion, Space and Society 13 (2014)
  • “Emotional Clichés and Authentic Passions: A Phenomenological Revision of a Cognitive Theory of Emotion.” Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, Volume 10, No. 1 (2011): 45-65.
  • “Emotional Metamorphoses: The Role of Others in Becoming-Oneself”, in Embodiment and Agency: New Essays in Feminist Philosophy, edited by Susan Sherwin, Letitia Meynell, and Sue Campbell. Pennsylvania State University Press, (2009): 1-45.
  • “Embodied Perceptions of Others as a Condition of Selfhood? Empirical and Phenomenological Considerations.” Journal of Consciousness Studies Vol. 15, No. 8 (2008): 63-93.
  • “The Role of Emotion in an Existential Education: Insights from Hegel and Plato.” International Philosophical Quarterly Vol.48 (2008).