To practice philosophy is to be part of a conversation, and this autobiography is a conversation about Mabogo Percy More’s experiences as a black African philosopher in South Africa. Not only is this a conversation about philosophy, but it is also a conversation with philosophy as a profession, its interlocutors, and the philosophical canon. Moreover, it is an account of the philosophers both living and dead who have informed More’s worldview, matched with his lived experience. More specifically, as (...) he himself says, this is “an autobiography of a black philosopher in apartheid and apartheid South Africa and its academic institutions”. (shrink)
In this important new book, leading Black philosopher Mabogo More reflects on his life and career in apartheid South African. The book explores Africana existentialism in relation to issues of race, identity, liberation, freedom, alienation, responsibility and bad faith and includes key essays from More's corpus alongside his philosophical memoir.
Drawing upon empirical studies of racial discrimination dating back to the 1940’s, the Movement for Black Lives platform calls for the abolition of capital punishment. Our purpose here is to defend the Movement’s call for death penalty abolition in terms congruent with its claim that the death penalty in the U.S. is a “racist practice” that “devalues Black lives.” We first sketch the jurisprudential history of race and capital punishment in the U.S., wherein courts have occasionally expressed worries (...) about racial injustice but have usually taken such evidence to warrant reform but not outright abolition. We argue that the racial discrimination at issue flows in significant part from implicit biases concerning race, criminality, and violence, which do not fit comfortably within the picture of racial bias advanced by the courts. The case for abolition, we contend, rests on Black Americans as a class (not merely those who interact with the criminal justice system as capital defendants or as murder victims) being subject to such bias and thereby not being accorded equal status under the law. (shrink)
Feminist, critical race, and postcolonial theories have established that social identities such as race and gender are mutually constitutive—i.e., that they “intersect.” I argue that “cultural appropriation” is never merely the appropriation of culture, but also of gender, sexuality, class, etc. For example, “white hipness” is the appropriation of stereotypical black masculinity by white males. Looking at recent videos from black male hip-hop artists, I develop an account of “postmillennial black hipness.” The inverse of white hipness, this (...) practice involves the appropriation, by black men, of stereotypical white gay masculinity and/or non-American, non-white femininity. I also argue that Shephard Fairey’s recent images of (mainly militant) non-Western women of color can be read as a new form of white hipness that revises the traditional logic in two ways: (1) by appropriating non-white femininity rather than masculinity, and (2) by adopting the practice of postmillennial black hipness itself. (shrink)
In this paper, I explain Black feminist identity politics as a practice that is ‘on the way’ to settler decolonization in a US context for the fact that it makes demands that we attend to our “originating” stories and, in doing so, 1) generate potential for difficult coalitions for decolonization in settler colonial USA and 2) promoting a range of refusals (Simpson 2014) that aid in resisting the completion of settler colonialism in North America, which is still an uncompleted (...) project. Ultimately, I claim Black feminist identity politics, properly understood, is a practice that aids in retaining the possibility of decolonization in a settler colonial state by resisting the historical unknowing that facilitates settler futurity. It is not itself settler decolonization, but rather it is “on the way” to such decolonization as it keeps open the need for decolonial futurity. (shrink)
In recent months, Covid‐19 has devastated African American communities across the nation, and a Minneapolis police officer murdered George Floyd. The agents of death may be novel, but the phenomena of long‐standing epidemics of premature black death and of police violence are not. This essay argues that racial health and health care disparities, rooted as they are in systemic injustice, ought to carry far more weight in clinical ethics than they generally do. In particular, this essay examines palliative and (...) end‐of‐life care for African Americans, highlighting the ways in which American medicine, like American society, has breached trust. In the experience of many African American patients struggling against terminal illness, health care providers have denied them a say in their own medical decision‐making. In the midst of the Covid‐19 pandemic, African Americans have once again been denied a say with regard to the rationing of scarce medical resources such as ventilators, in that dominant and ostensibly race‐neutral algorithms sacrifice black lives. Is there such thing as a “good” or “dignified” death when African Americans are dying not merely of Covid‐19 but of structural racism? (shrink)
The Black Lives Matter movement has called for the abolition of capital punishment in response to what it calls “the war against Black people” and “Black communities.” This article defends the two central contentions in the movement’s abolitionist stance: first, that US capital punishment practices represent a wrong to black communities rather than simply a wrong to particular black capital defendants or particular black victims of murder, and second, that the most defensible remedy for (...) this wrong is the abolition of the death penalty. (shrink)
In this article, I channel the autobiography of Black Panther cofounder Huey P. Newton, entitled Revolutionary Suicide, against the misogyny of the alt-right movement today. Both Newton and the alt-right have been powerfully influenced by Nietzsche, but one way of grasping the central difference between them is by comparing their conceptions of Dionysus. While the alt-right sticks closer to Nietzsche’s conception, which minimizes the god’s androgyny, Newton’s thought resonates with that androgyny, thereby bringing him closer to the most influential (...) Dionysus scholar since Nietzsche, Walter Otto. I therefore turn to the latter’s Dionysus: Myth and Cult, whose analyses I synthesize into the following image inspired by the god’s closest animal familiar: the dancingly-graceful panther as aqueous-androgynous soul-hunter. Reimagining Newton’s Black Panther in this way, finally, can help us overcome the alt-right. (shrink)
This article is the attempt of an historically oriented analysis focused on the role of Nigerian music as a cultural hub for the export of African cultural influences into the Black diaspora in the United States and its anticipation by the Free Jazz/Avantgarde-scene as well as the import of key-values related to the Black Power-movement to the African continent. The aim is to demonstrate the leading role and international impact of Nigeria's cultural industry among sub-saharan African nation states (...) and its specific ability to absorb and incorporate elements of Western culture. -/- After a short discussion of African influences on jazz music in general and the socio-political, cultural, and artistic context in which Free Jazz emerged, examples for the articulation of African consciousness among influencing key figures such as saxophonist John Coltrane or the Art Ensemble of Chicago are being presented. Furthermore, the personal and ideological links between the Avantgarde Jazz-scene and the Black Power-movement - especially the Black Panther Party - are made transparent. -/- In a second step the central influence of the Nigerian drum-pioneer Babatunde Olatunji on the Africanization of US-Jazz musicians, his personal and creative impact on John Coltrane, as well as the Black Power-movement is being highlighted. On the other hand, Coltrane, Free Jazz, and the Black Panther Party are being portrayed as a central creative and ideological turn in the career and work of Fela Kuti and towards political activism and his efforts to implement and apply the Africa-inspired Black Power -struggle of the US on the African continent in order to fight post-colonial forms of oppression. -/- . (shrink)
“Black Star” music video was released two days before Bowie’s death. It bears various implications of dying and the notion of mortality is both literal and metaphorical. It is highly autobiographical and serves as a theatrical stage for Bowie to act both as a music performer and as a self-conscious human being. In this paper, we discuss the signs of mortality in Bowie’s “Black Star” music video-clip. We focus on video’s cinematic techniques and codes, on its motivic elements (...) and on its narrative in relation with music, lyrics, characters, and gestures. We also discuss the video’s intertextual references and the broader signification of the black star figure. We adopt a quasi-semiotic approach considering “Black Star” music video-clip as a text which can be investigated through its signs, codes, and conventions of the musical, visual, and cinematic languages as well. Our interdisciplinary tools derive from visual semiotics and audiovisual analysis models, without leaving outside Bowie’s musical-artistic and personal history. As it turns out, Bowie created a video clip that is philosophical in nature and poetic in structure, preserving the role of protagonist. With the visuals creating a psychedelic atmosphere, the lyrics often are heard as a personal confession. They both generate cognitive and emotional responses that influence the way the viewers-listeners may experience, decompose, and interpret Bowie’s artistic endeavor bridging life and death. (shrink)
Although black holes are objects of central importance across many fields of physics, there is no agreed upon definition for them, a fact that does not seem to be widely recognized. Physicists in different fields conceive of and reason about them in radi- cally different, and often conflicting, ways. All those ways, however, seem sound in the relevant contexts. After examining and comparing many of the definitions used in practice, I consider the problems that the lack of a universally (...) accepted definition leads to, and discuss whether one is in fact needed for progress in the physics of black holes. I conclude that, within reasonable bounds, the profusion of different definitions is in fact a virtue, making the investigation of black holes possible and fruitful in all the many different kinds of problems about them that physicists consider, although one must take care in trying to translate results between fields. (shrink)
This paper summarizes the findings of a three-year exploratory qualitative study of teenage childbearing in 20 low-income multigeneration black families. Teenage childbearing in these families is part of an alternative life-course strategy created in response to socioenvironmental constraints. This alternative life-course strategy is characterized by an accelerated family timetable; the separation of reproduction and marriage; an age-condensed generational family structure; and a grandparental child-rearing system. The implications of these patterns for intergenerational family roles are discussed.
This is a brief sequel to Max Black 's classic dialogue on the Identity of Indiscernibles. Interlocutor A defends the bundle theory by endorsing the view according to which Black 's world does not contain two indiscernible spheres but rather a single, bi-located sphere. His opponent, B, objects that A cannot distinguish such a world from a world with a single, uniquely located sphere, hence that the view in question adds nothing to A's original response to Black (...) 's challenge. A is simply denying that there can be worlds with two or more indiscernible entities. (shrink)
The black hole information paradox arises from an apparent conflict between the Hawking black hole radiation and the fact that time evolution in quantum mechanics is unitary. The trouble is that while the former suggests that information of a system falling into a black hole disappears, the latter implies that information must be conserved. In this work we discuss the current divergence in views regarding the paradox, we evaluate the role that objective collapse theories could play in (...) its resolution and we propose a link between spontaneous collapse events and microscopic virtual black holes. (shrink)
Despite the recent rise in articles by American philosophers willing to deal with race, the sophistication of American philosophy's conceptualizations of American racism continues to lag behind other liberal arts fields committed to similar endeavors. Whereas other fields like American studies, history, sociology, and Black studies have found the foundational works of Black scholars essential to "truly" understanding the complexities of racism, American philosophy-driven by the refusal of white philosophers to acknowledge and incorporate the foundational works of (...) class='Hi'>Black scholars at the turn of the century, as well as the relevant insights of contemporary race theorists-remains in a very real sense underdeveloped .. (shrink)
The American novelist Walker Percy (1916-90) considered himself a "thief of Peirce", because he found in the views of C.S. Peirce, the founder of pragmatism, an alternative approach to prevailing reductionist theories in order to understand what we human beings are and what the peculiar nature of our linguistic activity is. -/- This paper describes, quoting widely from Percy, how abduction is the spontaneous activity of our reason by which we couple meanings and experience in our linguistic expressions. (...) This coupling of personal creativity and cultural tradition makes it possible to bridge the gaps between persons and cultures. (shrink)
In the 19th century, a gradual reform of art education began, which achieved its peak in the 1930s. This process manifested itself in the form of schools with an explicit anti-academic spirit – the Bauhaus in Europe and Black Mountain College in the United States. In this paper, I contend that such attempt at reform has never repeated again after the Black Mountain College case, where the combination of John Dewey’s educational principles, Josef Albers’ peculiar conception of art (...) instruction, and the college founders’ ideas concerning the essentiality of art for contemporary democratic societies created a unique environment for the development of an experimental form of art education. Examining this innovation with regard to the current situation of teaching art and the humanities, I argue that - despite a process of reform lasted more than a hundred years - art education still manifests residues of the old, conservative academic spirit, while art schools show features of exclusivity or even elitism. The pursuit for a wholesome social position of art, on the other hand, was the most striking endeavour of many brilliant thinkers in 19th and 20th century, something that art educators and art theoreticians of the 21st century must take this into a serious consideration. (shrink)
Black holes entered scientific literature as early as at the end of eighteenth century. They had been known at that time as dark stars, but their concept did not find its way to physics or astronomy, and had been abandoned for more than one hundred years. I shall sketch historical developments and discuss present mathematical and observational status of black holes.
The ideas that inspired the movement for Black lives have been traced through African-American political thought. However, the ideas of the movement have resonances with Black radical political thought more generally. I argue that key ideas of the movement have resonances with Frantz Fanon’s ideas particularly in Black Skin, White Masks. The stated mission of the movement is to influence global change where “Black lives are no longer systematically targeted for demise,” and to affirm Black (...) humanity. The organizers “call for Black lives to matter is a rallying cry for ALL Black lives striving for liberation.” While these are not the only ideas of the movement, they represent the basic impetus of the movement. I connect these ideas to three Fanonian ideas: his critique of universal humanism, the centrality of the body for affectively over-determined racial relations, and his introduction of “sociodiagnostics” to understand racism and its effects. What, then, does it mean to move for Black lives? (shrink)
Presentism is, roughly, the metaphysical doctrine that maintains that whatever exists, exists in the present. The compatibility of presentism with the theories of special and general relativity was much debated in recent years. It has been argued that at least some versions of presentism are consistent with time-orientable models of general relativity. In this paper we confront the thesis of presentism with relativistic physics, in the strong gravitational limit where black holes are formed. We conclude that the presentist position (...) is at odds with the existence of black holes and other compact objects in the universe. A revision of the thesis is necessary, if it is intended to be consistent with the current scientific view of the universe. (shrink)
_ Source: _Volume 47, Issue 3, pp 406 - 428 Interpretations of the so-called _Black Notebooks_ have emphasized the interaction between Heidegger’s philosophy, particularly his notion of a “history of being”, on the one hand, and his affiliation with National Socialism and his anti-Semitic views on the other. The paper proposes to understand this interaction as in part determined by the inherent logic of Heidegger’s ontological reasoning: Heidegger takes power, violence and brutality as the key for understanding his present day (...) and turns to these phenomena as confirmation of the ontology he envisages at the time. But the notes published so far, ranging from 1931 to 1948, document Heidegger’s incapacity to assign to the events of these years a plausible position in his ontology. This failure deepens a trauma both personal and philosophical. Rather than reject the notion of a history of being altogether, I propose an alternative understanding of its logic motivated by Heidegger’s failure to bring his ontological project to the anticipated completion. (shrink)
This article reviews the 2017 English translation of Achille Mbembe’s book _Critique of Black Reason._ It suggests that a key to understanding the work concerns the theme of the double, for instance, the critique of the double discourse on Blackness which explains the title of the book. Despite some passages of the text being overly poetic and difficult to understand, Mbembe’s critical contribution in this work, to not only the philosophical debate on otherness but also critical race theory, is (...) the attempt to rethink the relation of the particular and the universal, or in this instance Africa and the world, in order to think more critically about the responsibility of repairing the dignity of humanity in thinking our shared world beyond race and racism. (shrink)
We model a black hole spacetime as a causal set and count, with a certain definition, the number of causal links crossing the horizon in proximity to a spacelike or null hypersurface Σ. We find that this number is proportional to the horizon's area on Σ, thus supporting the interpretation of the links as the “horizon atoms” that account for its entropy. The cases studied include not only equilibrium black holes but ones far from equilibrium.
One of the most widespread objections to legalizing a market in human organs is that such legalization would stimulate the black market in human organs. Unfortunately, the proponents of this argument fail to explain how such stimulation will occur. To remedy thus, two accounts of how legalizing markets in human organs could stimulate the black market in them are developed in this paper. Yet although these accounts remedy the lacuna in the anti-market argument from the black market (...) neither of them provide reason to believe that legalizing an organ markets would stimulate the black market in organs. Despite its prevalence, then, the argument from the black market should be rejected. (shrink)
Recent developments point to a breakdown in the generalized second law of thermodynamics for theories with Lorentz symmetry violation. It appears possible to construct a perpetual motion machine of the second kind in such theories, using a black hole to catalyze the conversion of heat to work. Here we describe and extend the arguments leading to that conclusion. We suggest the inference that local Lorentz symmetry may be an emergent property of the macroscopic world with origins in a microscopic (...) second law of causal horizon thermodynamics. (shrink)
Clues about what Berkeley was planning to say about mind in his now-lost second volume of the Principles seem to abound in his Notebooks. However, commentators have been reluctant to use his unpublished entries to explicate his remarks about spiritual substances in the Principles and Dialogues for three reasons. First, it has proven difficult to reconcile the seemingly Humean bundle theory of the self in the Notebooks with Berkeley's published characterization of spirits as “active beings or principles.” Second, the fact (...) that Berkeley did not publish his Notebooks insights on mind has led some to claim that he later rejected his early views. Third, many of the Notebooks entries on mind have a ‘+’ sign next to them, which has been understood for decades to comprise a Black List of views about which Berkeley had doubts or subsequently rejected. In my dialogue, I describe how Berkeley's “congeries” account of mind (1) differs from Hume's bundle theory in a way that complements Berkeley's published remarks and (2) undercuts the claim that he later rejected his early views. Most importantly, (3) I show how a careful analysis of the British Library manuscript of the Notebooks refutes the Black List hypothesis. (shrink)
The purpose of the study is to determine the key strategies of philosophical criticism of Heidegger’s Black Notebooks, whose achievement is realized in the following tasks: 1) to identify the body of texts that represent the discourse of philosophical criticism of Heidegger notes; 2) to reveal the typological features of the different strategies of interpreting Black Notebooks; 3) to reconstruct a thematic horizon of Heidegger studies, opened up by discussion on published notes. The methodology combines elements of discourse (...) analysis with traditional methods of historical and philosophical criticism. Scientific novelty is expressed in the following: 1) philosophical discourse of the Notebooks’ reception includes texts of narrowly specialized character, as well as reflections of key philosophers 2) basic strategies in philosophical critique of Black Notebooks convey the overall structure of the discourse of interpretation of Heidegger’s legacy, distributed between apologetics and ideological criticism; 3) Black Notebooks have exacerbated the problem of architectonics of Gesammtausgabe and formed the textual basis for the study of "silence" period in philosophical life of Heidegger. Conclusions. The discourse of philosophical critique of Heidegger’s notes proves evidence for ideological charge of philosophizing and justifies socially oriented approaches of historical and philosophical studies examining philosophizing as a special cultural practice, not as a form of sublime creativity. (shrink)