David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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In George Yancy (ed.), he Center Must Not Hold: White Women on The Whiteness of Philosophy (2009)
Let’s say that a philosophical theory is white just in case it treats the perspective of the white (perhaps Western male) as objective.1 The potential dangers of proposing or defending white theories are two-fold. First, if not all of reality is objective, a fact which I take to be established beyond doubt,2 then white theories could well turn out to be false.3 A white theory is unwarranted (and indeed false) when it treats nonobjective reality as objective. Second, by proposing or defending unwarranted white theories one thereby treats the perspective of the non-white as faulty, and this in turn serves to perpetuate the distorted representation of whites as superior to non-whites. As David Owen puts it, [whiteness] serves to underwrite perceptions, understandings, justifications and explanations of the social order that perpetuate distortions in the social system that are a legacy of our nation’s history …what is associated with whiteness becomes defined as natural, normal or mainstream.4 In this chapter I will focus on a particular class of philosophical theories, viz. philosophical theories of color. I argue that realist theories of the objectivist variety..
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