Book review: Naomi Zack.Women of color and philosophy. Malden, mass.: Blackwell publishers, 2000 [Book Review]

Hypatia 20 (1):220-225 (2005)

Alison Bailey
Illinois State University
Naomi Zack’s unique and important collection, Women of Color and Philosophy, brings together for the first time the voices of twelve philosophers who are women of color. She begins with the premise that the work of women of color who do philosophy in academe, but who do not write exclusively on issues of race, ethnicity, and gender, merits a collection of its own. It’s rare that women of color pursue philosophy in academic contexts; Zack counts at most thirty among the ten thousand members of the American Philosophical Association. Women of color in philosophy often suffer an initial lack of credibility with colleagues and students, their success is often attributed to affirmative action, and the merit of their research is often questioned. They are expected to teach classes on race and gender, and asked to serve on endless committees vouching for the diversity of university programs and policies. But Zack’s collection is not about the philosophical import of these professional considerations. The idea underlying her anthology is that social identity is relevant to both philosophical activity and the production of ideas even when an author does not address race and gender. This landmark volume is divided into three sections intended to reflect three critical themes: direct critiques of traditional academic philosophy; new and original applications of philosophical methods to social issues; and the fresh interpretation of traditional philosophy in ways that suggest new areas of study.
Keywords Philosophy of Race  Women in Philosophy  Critiques of Western Philosophy  Philosophical Methods  Social Philosophy
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DOI 10.2979/HYP.2005.20.1.220
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