Asian women: Invisibility, locations, and claims to philosophy

“Asian women” is an ambiguous category; it seems to indicate a racial as well as a cultural designation. The number of articles or books on being Asian or Asian-American is on the rise in other disciplines, but in comparison to the material on black or Hispanic identities, Asians are largely missing from the field of philosophy of race. Things Asian in philosophy are generally reserved for those who study Asian philosophy or comparative philosophy, but that focus usually excludes reflections on Asian identities as such. This lack in the literature prompted me to start my own reflection with such questions as: Why do Asians not take an active interest in discourse on race? What does the category “Asian” designate? What contributes to their invisibility in general? Is this a stereotype? Are they simply “white-identified?” Are Asians responsible for their own invisibility, or is there some other factor? What is the relation between Asian philosophy and being Asian, if any? Is there any interesting connection between being Asian and feminism? As a Japanese woman philosopher who is also interested in feminism, these questions seemed natural. This paper is an attempt to clarify some of these issues in the light of my experience working in the profession of academic philosophy.
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Asking the Right Questions.Francis Brassard - 2009 - In David Edward Jones & Ellen R. Klein (eds.), Asian Texts, Asian Contexts: Encounters with Asian Philosophies and Religions. State University of New York Press.

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