I am a Walkerite. David Walker (1796– 97/1830), born in Wilmington, Delaware, to a free mother and a slave father, inherited his mother’s status as free. Walker witnessed the misery of slavery in his native state and during his various travels in the South, including one episode where a son was forced to whip his mother until she died. He settled in Boston in the 1820’s where he established a secondhand clothing business and became the most noted abolitionist in Boston, (...) associating with the abolitionist groups Prince Hall Freemasonry, Massachusetts General Colored Association and the newspaper, Freedom’s Journal. In 1929, he published the first of three editions of his APPEAL, IN FOUR ARTICLES; together with A .. (shrink)
Over the last several years, as cesarean deliveries have grown increasingly common, there has been a great deal of public and professional interest in the phenomenon of women 'choosing' to deliver by cesarean section in the absence of any specific medical indication. The issue has sparked intense conversation, as it raises questions about the nature of autonomy in birth. Whereas mainstream bioethical discourse is used to associating autonomy with having a large array of choices, this conception of autonomy does not (...) seem adequate to capture concerns and intuitions that have a strong grip outside this discourse. An empirical and conceptual exploration of how delivery decisions ought to be negotiated must be guided by a rich understanding of women's agency and its placement within a complicated set of cultural meanings and pressures surrounding birth. It is too early to be 'for' or 'against' women's access to cesarean delivery in the absence of traditional medical indications – and indeed, a simple pro- or con- position is never going to do justice to the subtlety of the issue. The right question is not whether women ought to be allowed to choose their delivery approach but, rather, taking the value of women's autonomy in decision-making around birth as a given, what sorts of guidelines, practices, and social conditions will best promote and protect women's full inclusion in a safe and positive birth process. (shrink)
Lucius T. Outlaw, Jr., is steadfastly dedicated to universal human liberation. The partisan interest of African Americans can be, for Outlaw, coterminous with universal human interest, including such interests as the promotion of respect and justice. Humanity has an interest in cultural, racial, and ethnic diversity for Outlaw because they enrich our lives and enhance the chances of survivability for the human species. All people, he argues, should be free from oppression, exploitation, and prejudice. Outlaw provides ample autobiographical information about (...) how his theories developed and how he has lived his personal life, his political life, and his educational life…. (shrink)
To Vallortigara & Rogers's (V&R's) evidence of everyday directional asymmetries in the natural environment of a variety of species, we offer one more example for human beings. It is the bias for holding an infant on the left side, and it illustrates several themes in the target article.
Charles Mills makes visible in the world of mainstream philosophy some of the crucial issues of the black experience. Ralph Ellison's metaphor of black invisibility has special relevance to philosophy, whose demographic and conceptual "whiteness" has long been a source of wonder and complaint to racial minorities. Mills points out the absence of any philosophical narrative theorizing and detailing race's centrality to the recent history of the West, such as feminists have articulated for gender domination. European expansionism in its various (...) forms, Mills contends, generates a social ontology of race that warrants philosophical attention. Through expropriation, settlement, slavery, and colonialism, race comes into existence as simultaneously real and unreal: ontological without being biological, metaphysical without being physical, existential without being essential, shaping one's being without being in one's shape. His essays explore the contrasting sums of a white and black modernity, examine standpoint epistemology and the metaphysics of racial identity, look at black-Jewish relations and racial conspiracy theories, map the workings of a white-supremacist polity and the contours of a racist moral consciousness, and analyze the presuppositions of Frederick Douglass's famous July 4 prognosis for black political inclusion. Collectively they demonstrate what exciting new philosophical terrain can be opened up once the color line in western philosophy is made visible and addressed. (shrink)
Locke consistently argues for the importance of cosmopolitan identity, i.e., cultural-citizenship. Paradoxically, he also argues for the importance of particular, local, and racial/ethnic identities. People have a natural instinct that Locke terms a consciousness of kind, to bond with persons in relatively closed communities. Communities are not natural social groups for Locke, but historical social constructions. I argue that Locke''s ethical and conceptual paradox is revolved by considering the relationship between instincts and particular social groups as asymmetrical; that groups are (...) inherently constructed, and thus require continual revaluation. Particular communities are, at best, Gemeinschaft. (shrink)