Existence in Black is the first collective statement on the subject of Africana Philosophy of Existence. Drawing upon resources in Africana philosophy and literature, the contributors explore some of the central themes of Existentialism as posed by the context of what Frantz Fanon has identified as "the lived-experience of the black." Among questions posed and explored in the volume are: What is to be done in a world of near universal sense of superiority to, if not universal hatred of, black (...) folk?; What is black suffering?; What is the meaning (if any) of black existence? The introduction argues that a response to these questions requires a journey through the resources of identity questions in critical race theory and the teleological dimensions of liberation theory. The contributors address these questions through an analysis of nearly every dimension of Africana phiosophy. In the first half of the book, they address Black Philosophies of Existence in terms of Traditional African Philosophy, the Harlem Renaissance, Du Boisian Double-Consciousness, and Fanonian and Sartrean Philosophies of Existence. In the second half of the book, contributors consider racial identity through examinations of such concepts as equality, death, mimesis, property, embodiment, technology, disappointment, and dread. Part II is an exploration of postmodern challenges to "black existence" through discussions of postmodern conservatism, Nietzsche's thoughts on blacks, Richard Wright and fragmented consciousness, and feminist critiques of race. And Part IV is an examination of problems of historical responsibility and constructing black liberation theories. Contributors are: Ernest Allen, Jr., Robert Birt, Bernard Boxill, George Carew, Bobby Dixon, G.M. James Gonzales, Lewis R. Gordon, Leonard Harris, Floyd Hayes, III, Paget Henry, Patricia Huntington, Joy Ann James, Clarence Shole Johnson, Bill E. Lawson, Howard McGary, Roy D. Morrison, William Preston, Jean-Paul Sartre, T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting, Gary Schwartz, Robert Westley, and Naomi Zack. (shrink)
This is a defense of blackreparations using the theory of reparations setout in John Locke''s The Second Treatise ofGovernment. I develop two mainarguments, what I call the ``inheritanceargument'''' and the ``counterfactual argument,''''both of which have been thought to fail. In nocase do I appeal to the false ideas that presentday United States citizens are guilty ofslavery or must pay reparation simply becausethe U.S. Government was once complicit in thecrime.
Although Frederick Douglass disclaimed any patriotism or love of the United States in the years when he considered its constitution to be pro-slavery, I argue that he was in fact always a patriot and always a lover of his country. This conclusion leads me to argue further that patriotism is not as expressly political as many philosophers suppose. Patriots love their country despite its politics and often unreasonably, although in loving their country they are concerned with its politics. The greatest (...) among them freely dedicate themselves selflessly to the improvement of their country, partly because they love it, and partly because they are moved to take on great projects. (shrink)
Kant claimed that we have a duty to seek peace, and encouraged a hope for peace to support that duty. To encourage that hope he argued that peace was reasonably likely. He thought that peace was reasonably likely because he believed that historical trends would create opportunities to implement his plan for peace. But authorities claim that globalization is undermining such opportunities. Consequently Kant's arguments can no longer sustain our hope for peace. We can sustain that hope by devising a (...) new plan for peace that globalization will give us opportunities to implement. But in order to devise such a plan we need to sustain our hope for peace. We can sustain such a hope by reflecting on the value of peace because hope is sustained not only by the belief that the object of hope is likely, but also by the conviction that it is valuable. In this way we can perhaps sustain a hope for peace that will support our duty to seek peace. But the fear of war and compassion for the victims of war may also support the duty to seek peace. Kant ignored these opportunities to support the duty to seek peace because they could support only the duty to avoid war. But Kant never showed that the duty to seek peaceoutweighed the duty to avoid war. I conclude that Kant's arguments lead us to endless war rather than to peace. (shrink)
From Bernard Boxill, professor of philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and editor of Race and Racism, comes a tightly-argued, very illuminating book that will be essential reading for anyone interested in ...
African-American political thought finds its premises in European philosophical traditions. But these traditions often challenge African-American humanity which African-American political thought defends. African-American political thought is therefore an extended commentary on the consistency of European philosophical traditions.
A special issue of The Philosophical Forum , one of the most prestigious philosophy journals, is now available to a wider readership through its publication in book form. The volume includes twelve essays in three sections-- Philosophical Traditions; the African-American Tradition; and Racism, Identity, and Social Life. Contributors are: K. Anthony Appiah, Kwasi Wiredu, Lucius Outlaw, Leonard Harris, Bernard Boxill, Frank M. Kirkland, Tommy L. Lott, Adrian M.S. Piper, Laurence Thomas, Michele M. Moody-Adams, Anita L. Allen, and Howard McGary. (...) The introduction is by John P. Pittman. (shrink)
This essay is a commentary upon "Race and Kant" by Thomas Hill, Jr and Bernard Boxill. They argue that although Kant in his anthropological writings took blacks to be inferior, his moral theory requires that they be shown the proper moral respect since blacks are persons nonetheless. I argue that this argument is sound, because the conception of inferiority that Kant attributed to blacks does not permit showing them the proper moral respect. Imagine a defective Mercedes Benz and a (...) Ford Pinto. These two cars are not inferior in the same sort of way. For Kant, I argue, the inferiority of blacks is more akin to that of a Ford Pinto; for he undoubtedly took blacks to be perpetual children. Chilren are persons, too; however, no one has ever supposed that moral theory applies to children in the full way that it applies to adults. (shrink)