An Attitude towards a Soul—and Its Corruptions: A Wittgensteinian View of Racial Alienation

In Jonathan Beale & Richard Rowland (eds.), Wittgenstein and Contemporary Moral Philosophy. New York, NY, USA: (forthcoming)
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I extend my account of social invisibility and interpersonal recognition by applying it to one form of racism: racial alienation—the failure to emotionally identify with members of another racial group on the basis of their race. I argue that leading views of racism in the analytic tradition threaten to contravene the conviction that racial alienation involves a misrecognition of the other group’s humanity. The pitfall is best avoided by developing a conception of interpersonal awareness that is informed by Wittgenstein’s remarks on other minds, particularly his point that our awareness of others as humanly minded consists in ‘an attitude towards a soul’ rather than in an 'opinion' that she has a soul.



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Aleksy Tarasenko-Struc
Albany Medical College

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