Philosophy in Review 34 (1-2):17-20 (2014)

Anna Carastathis
Feminist Autonomous Centre for Research
In lieu of an abstract, the first paragraph of the review: "In 1995, Leonard Harris published an article for which he received death threats, exposing the white supremacist underpinnings of institutionalized philosophy in the United States: “There are those [...] who doubt that the Ku Klux Klan created American Philosophy [...] However, even without [that] belief [...] there are reasons to think that American Philosophy is compatible with the wishes of the Klan” (Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 68(5): 1995, 135). If more tempered in tone, "Reframing the Practice of Philosophy" testifies to the abiding white dominance and white solipsism of the discipline. In the latest of “the indefatigable George Yancy’s collections,” contributors make effective use of autobiography to “articulat[e] the lived interiority” of experiences of exclusion, marginalization, and tokenism reflected in statistics which reveal the “paucity of African Americans and Latinos/as in the field of philosophy in the United States”--which remains a “predominantly white and male field” (45, 4, 1, 2). Fifteen years ago, 1% of U.S. philosophers were black; still today only 1% are. Less than 30 are Black women, “doubly disadvantaged in the profession by the intersection of race and gender” (49). Only 3.8% of graduate students in philosophy are Latin@, and only “half a dozen” are “established professional philosophers” (169). As Grant Silva writes in his review published in the "APA Newsletter on Hispanic/Latino Issues in Philosophy", “more honest conversations like [those staged in "Reframing the Practice of Philosophy] must take place in order for our field to reinvent itself along more equitable lines, assuming that this is indeed a collective goal” (2012, 8). The unbearable whiteness of academic philosophy, means, as Charles Mills puts it, that transforming the discipline is “going to be a long haul” (65)...
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