Against the backdrop of eliminitivist versus critical conservationist approaches to the racial category of whiteness, this article asks whether a rehabilitated version of whiteness can be worked out concretely. What might a non-oppressive, anti-racist whiteness look like? Turning to Josiah Royce’s “Provincialism” for help answering this question, I show that even though the essay never explicitly discusses race, it can help explain the ongoing need for the category of whiteness and implicitly offers a wealth of useful suggestions for how to (...) transform it. “Provincialism” is an exercise in critical conservation of the concept of provincialism, and while not identical, provincialism and whiteness share enough in common that “wise” provincialism can serve as a model for “wise” whiteness. Royce’s concept of provincialism thus can be a great help to critical philosophers of race wrestling with questions of whether and how to transformatively conserve whiteness. Exploring similarities and differences between wise provincialism and wise whiteness, I use Royce’s analyses of provincialism to shed light on why whiteness should be rehabilitated rather than discarded and how white people today might begin living whiteness as an anti-racist category. (shrink)
While Sigmund Freud and Maurice Merleau?Ponty both acknowledge the role that spatiality plays in human life, neither pays any explicit attention to the intersections of race and space. It is Franz Fanon who uses psychoanalysis and phenomenology to provide an account of how the psychical and lived bodily existence of black people is racially constituted by a racist world. More precisely, as I argue in this paper, Fanon's work demonstrates how psychical and bodily spatiality cannot be adequately understood apart from (...) the environing space of the social world. For Fanon, body, psyche, and world mutually influence and constitute each other. In a raced and racist world, therefore, the lived bodily experience and the unconscious of human beings will be racially and racist?ly constituted as well. This will show you how in psychoanalysis we take spatial ways of looking at things seriously. ??Sigmund Freud1 Everything throws us back on to the organic relations between subject and space, to that gearing of the subject onto his world which is the origin of space. ??Maurice Merleau?Ponty2 Hence we are driven from the individual back to the social structure. If there is a [neurotic] taint, it lies not in the ?soul? of the individual but rather in that of the environment. ??Franz Fanon3. (shrink)
In my response to the comments of Vincent Colapietro, Charlene Seigfried, and Gail Weiss on Living Across and Through Skins (Sullivan 2001), I explain pragmatist feminism as an ecological ontology that understands bodies and environments as dynamically co-constitutive. I then discuss the relationship of pragmatist feminism to phenomenology, psychoanalysis, Nietzschean genealogy, and Darwinian evolutionary theory. Some of the specific concepts I examine include the anonymous body, the bodying organism, truth as transactional flourishing, and the preservation of racial and ethnic categories.
: In my response to the comments of Vincent Colapietro, Charlene Seigfried, and Gail Weiss on Living Across and Through Skins (Sullivan 2001), I explain pragmatist feminism as an ecological ontology that understands bodies and environments as dynamically co-constitutive. I then discuss the relationship of pragmatist feminism to phenomenology, psychoanalysis, Nietzschean genealogy, and Darwinian evolutionary theory. Some of the specific concepts I examine include the anonymous body, the bodying organism, truth as transactional flourishing, and the preservation of racial and ethnic (...) categories. (shrink)
: Responding to Silvia Stoller's comments on "Domination and Dialogue in Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology of Perception" (Sullivan 1997), I argue that while phenomenology has much to offer feminism, feminists should be wary of Merleau-Ponty's notion of projective intentionality because of the ethical solipsism that it tends to involve. I also take the opportunity to clarify the concept of hypothetical construction introduced in the earlier paper, in particular the transformative relationship that it has to pre-reflective experience.
: This paper demonstrates how John Dewey's notion of habit can help us understand gender as a constitutive structure of bodily existence. Bringing Dewey's pragmatism in conjunction with Judith Butler's concept of performativity, I provide an account of how rigid binary configurations of gender might be transformed at the level of both individual habit and cultural construct.
Merleau-Ponty's claim in Phenomenology of Perception (1962) that the anonymous body guarantees an intersubjective world is problematic because it omits the particularities of bodies. This omission produces an account of "dialogue" with another in which I solipsistically hear only myself and dominate others with my intentionality. This essay develops an alternative to projective intentionality called "hypothetical construction," in which meaning is socially constructed through an appreciation of the differences of others.