Many philosophers attribute extraordinary importance to the idea of natural kinds seemingly intimating that the very possibility of certain kinds of activity are ontologically beholden to the existence of kinds. Specifically, regarding chemistry, Brian Ellis intimated that the success of any plausible metaphysical essentialism depends upon its “reliance on examples from chemistry.” Ellis’s view is representative of a tradition in analytic philosophy that has utilized chemical examples as paradigmatic natural kinds. In this regard, Kripke and Putnam emerge as the architects (...) of an entrenched research program dedicated to the chemical tradition of natural kinds in analytic philosophy. The emergence of a critical body of literature by philosophers of chemistry and others has shattered the complacent reliance upon chemical examples as exemplary kinds. On the basis of this emerging critical literature, I will critically explore the way in which chemical practice and inquiry affects the natural kind debate. So, instead of the pretense that we simply carve nature at its joints, we need to become better grounded in the practice of science, and especially with regard to the debate about natural kinds in chemical practice. Consistent with this orientation, we need to make the practice turn, that is, eradicate the fantasy of logical reconstruction and become involved with the interpretative and historical challenges of understanding the nuances of practice. The point here is quite clear, metaphysical questions regarding natural kind should be imminent to scientific practice. Indeed, any legitimate metaphysics of natural kinds should be appropriately informed and grounded in practice and not operate on the basis of a priori sovereignty. I will insert this critical discussion within the analytical context of the notion of interpretive communities and make the case that philosophers should not assume that appeals to the purity of philosophy can substitute for the complexity and practical orientation of chemical practice. (shrink)
The following essay is a review of three recent texts in Africana philosophy. These three texts are united by the overarching theme of the teleological suspension of mainstream philosophy. Lewis Gordon takes a global approach to Africana philosophy and his text engages the issue of the historiography of Africana philosophy; George Yancy’s approach is situated within the subtradition of African American philosophy and his text pursues a critical Africana study of the existential reality of whiteness; and Neil Roberts situates his (...) work within the subtradition of Afro-Caribbean philosophy, with the declared goal of tackling the concept of freedom. (shrink)
This collection gives George Yancy’s transformative work in social and political philosophy and the philosophy of race the critical attention it has long deserved. Contributors apply perspectives from disciplines including philosophy, sociology, education, communication, peace and conflict studies, religion, and psychology.
In its comprehensive overview of Alain Locke's pragmatist philosophy this book captures the radical implications of Locke's approach within pragmatism, the critical temper embedded in Locke's works, the central role of power and empowerment of the oppressed and the concept of broad democracy Locke employed.
This collection gives George Yancy's transformative work in social and political philosophy and the philosophy of race the critical attention it has long deserved. Contributors apply perspectives from disciplines including philosophy, sociology, education, communication, peace and conflict studies, religion, and psychology.
This essay critically considers the issue of natural kind essentialism. More specifically, the essay critically probes the philosophical use of chemical examples to support realism about natural kinds. My simple contention is that the natural kind debate can be understood in terms of two different cultures of academic production. These two cultures will be conceptualized using Thomas Kasulis’s distinction between intimacy and integrity as cultural orientations. Acknowledging Kasulis’s contention that, “What is foreground in one culture may be background in another”, (...) it may very well be the case that philosophers writing about chemistry place chemical practice in the background, thereby adopting the orientation of integrity. Chemists and philosophers of chemistry, on the other hand, place chemical practice at the foreground of their work, thereby adopting the orientation of intimacy. Because the intimacy orientation is grounded in chemical practice, it is preferable to the integrity orientation. Understanding the natural kinds debate from this perspective highlights the fact that the misuse of chemical examples by certain philosophers is informed by an orientation of detachment from actual chemical practice. This underscores the importance of an intimate understanding of chemical practice when deploying chemical examples in the context of philosophical discussions about ontology and metaphysics. (shrink)
MARINA PAOLA BANCHETTI-ROBINO is Associate Professor and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Florida Atlantic University. Her areas of research include phenomenology, philosophy of language, philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, and zoosemiotics. Her publications have appeared in such journals as Synthese, Husserl Studies, Idealistic Studies, Philosophy East and West, and The Review of Metaphysics. She has also contributed essays to The Role of Pragmatics in Contemporary Philosophy (1997), Feminist Phenomenology (2000), and Islamic Philosophy and Occidental Phenomenology on the Perennial (...) Issue of Microcosm and Macrocosm (2006). She co-edited Philosophies of the Environment and Technology (1999) and is currently working on a book-length project entitled The Birth of Science Out of the Spirit of Myth: A Historico-Phenomenological Re-Examination of the Crisis of the European Sciences. BERNARD BOXILL was born in Saint Lucia, West Indies where he received his primary and secondary education. He studied philosophy at the University of New Brunswick, Canada and at the University of California, Los Angeles where he was awarded a doctorate in philosophy in 1971. He has published numerous articles, a book, Blacks and Social Justice (1992), and is professor of philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. ED BRANDON was born and educated in England, studying philosophy and linguistics at The University of York, England, and later philosophy at The University of Oxford with the late John Mackie. After teaching in Sierra Leone and briefly in England, he went to teach philosophy of education at the University of the West Indies at Mona, Jamaica in 1978. From 1992 he has been attached to a policy unit of the Vice-Chancellery, based at the Cave Hill campus in Barbados, where he has been assisting since 2000 with a new major in philosophy. His academic work can be accessed from http://cavehill.uwi.edu/bnccde/epb/personalpage.html CAROLYN CUSICK is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University. She is a founding member of the Phenomenology Roundtable. Her research focuses on feminist epistemology, Africana philosophy, and phenomenology. LEWIS GORDON is President of the Caribbean Philosophical Association. He is Laura H. Carnell Professor, the most distinguished chair, at Temple University, where he holds appointments in philosophy, religion, and Judaic studies and directs the Institute for the Study of Race and Social Thought and the Center for Afro-Jewish Studies. He is also Ongoing Visiting Professor of Philosophy and Government at the University of the West Indies at Mona, Jamaica. He is the author of several books, including the award-winning Her Majesty's Other Children: Sketches of Racism from a Neocolonial Age (Rowman and Littlefield, 1997), Disciplinary Decadence: Living Thought in Trying Times (Paradigm, 2006), An Introduction to Africana Philosophy (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming), and co-editor of A Companion to African-American Studies (Blackwell, 2006) and Not Only the Master's Tools: African-American Studies in Theory and Practice (Paradigm, 2005). CLEVIS HEADLEY is currently Associate Professor of Philosophy at Florida Atlantic University, director of the Ethnic Studies Certificate Program, as well as director of the Master's in Liberal Studies. Professionally, he serves as the Vice-President and Treasurer of the Caribbean Philosophical Association. Professor Headley has published widely in the areas of Critical Race Theory and Africana philosophy. He has also published in Analytic philosophy, focusing specifically on Gottlob Frege. PAGET HENRY is Professor of Sociology and Africana Studies at Brown University. He is the author of Caliban's Reason: Introducing Afro-Caribbean Philosophy, Peripheral Capitalism and Underdevelopment in Antigua, and the co-editor of C. L. R. James' Caribbean. Professor Henry also serves as the editor of the C. L. R. James Journal, and has published numerous articles on the political economy of the Caribbean as well as on African, African-American, and Afro-Caribbean philosophy. ESIABA IROBI is Associate Professor of International Theatre/Performance Studies at Ohio University, Athens. His groundbreaking book: A Theatre for Cannibals: Resisting Globalization on the Continent and Diaspora since 1441 will be published by Palgrave Macmillan, London, in 2007. He has been invited to be an External Resident Fellow at the prestigious Dartmouth College Humanities Institute for the 2007-2008 academic year. CHIKE JEFFERS is a graduate student in the Ph.D. program of the Philosophy Department at Northwestern University. His interests are in Africana philosophy, social and political philosophy, ethics, philosophy of religion and aesthetics. He is originally from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. CATHERINE JOHN is Associate Professor of African Diaspora Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of Oklahoma. Her book Clear Word and Third Sight: Folk Groundings and Diasporic Consciousness in African Caribbean Writing was co-published by Duke University Press and UWI Press in 2003. She has published several articles on Caribbean literature and culture and her current book project is entitled The Just Society and the Diasporic Imagination. She spends her summer working in Woodside, St. Mary, Jamaica helping with a summer school for children and participating in the community's emancipation celebration. KENNETH KNIES is a doctoral student in philosophy at Stony Brook University. His areas of focus are phenomenology and ancient philosophy. He is also a contributing editor for Political Affairs magazine. EDIZON LEN is a photographer and coordinator of the Fondo Documental Afro-Andino at the Universidad Andina Simòn Bolivar in Quito, Ecuador. In 2006, he was curator of the photo exhibit "The Color of the Diaspora" presented at the Cultural Center of the Catholic University of Ecuador and the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He is currently completing his doctorate at the Universidad Andina Simòn Bolivar with a focus on Maroon thought. REKHA MENON is Associate Professor of Art History at State University of New York, Buffalo State. She is the author of Seductive Aesthetics of Post Colonialism (forthcoming). Her area of research focuses on current philosophical investigations in colonial and neocolonial aspects of Indian art, artistic/cultural practices and philosophies and their relationship to Western arts and philosophies. Her manuscripts under review are: Ashamed of Our Nakedness, Is There Ever a Naked Body? Ambivalence in Contemporary Indian Expressive Aesthetics and Insatiable Desire. MICHAEL R. MICHAU is a Ph.D. candidate in the Philosophy and Literature Program at Purdue University, and during the 2006-2007 school year, a lecturer in the Department of Comparative Studies and Department of Philosophy at Ohio State University. He is the co-founder and co-secretary of the North American Levinas Society. CHARLES W. MILLS is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He works in the general area of oppositional political theory, and is the author of numerous articles and three books: The Racial Contract (Cornell University Press, 1997), Blackness Visible: Essays on Philosophy and Race (Cornell University Press, 1998), and From Class to Race: Essays in White Marxism and Black Radicalism (Rowman and Littlefield, 2003). MABOGO P. MORE is currently Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. He has published articles on African philosophy and social and political philosophy in a number of academic journals, such as South African Journal of Philosophy, Dialogue and Universalism, Alternation, Theoria, and African Journal of Political Science. MARILYN NISSIM-SABAT, Ph.D., M.S.W. is Professor Emerita and Adjunct Professor of Philosophy, Lewis University. Dr. Nissim-Sabat is also a psychotherapist in private practice. She is the author of numerous book chapters and papers in the fields of philosophy (Husserlian phenomenology), psychoanalysis, feminism, and critical race theory. Citations of her works can be found on her website: marilynnissim-sabat.com. FREDERICK OCHIENG'-ODHIAMBO is a Senior Lecturer of Philosophy and Coordinator of the discipline at The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Barbados. His major research areas are African philosophy and social philosophy. He has published several articles on philosophic sagacity. IVAN PETRELLA is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Miami. He is author of The Future of Liberation Theology: An Argument and Manifesto (SCM Press, 2006) and editor of Latin American Liberation Theology: The Next Generation (Orbis Books, 2005) as well as co-editor of the series Reclaiming Liberation Theology (SCM Press) RICHARD PITHOUSE is a research fellow at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa. He is editor of Asinamali: University Struggles in Post-Apartheid South Africa (Africa World Press, 2006). SATHYA RAO is Assistant Professor in French translation at the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies, University of Alberta, Canada. His research fields include: theory of translation, continental philosophy, postcolonial studies, discourses on Africa, and Francophone cinema and literature. He has published articles in various peer-reviewed journals and written chapters in several collective books such as: De l'Ecrit Africain a l'Oral le Phenomene Graphique Africain, Simon Battestini (Ed.) (Paris: L'Harmattan, 2006) and Thèorie-rèbellion. Un Ultimatum, Gilles Grelet (Ed.) (Paris: L'Harmattan, 2005). He has a co-edited a book on Francophone African cinema L'Afrique fait son cinema (Montreal: Memoires d'encrier, forthcoming). Sathya Rao is vice-president of the International Non-Philosophical Organisation (INPhO), member of the Canadian Association of Translatology (CATS), coordinator of the research team Poexil, and Secretary of the Caribbean Philosophical Association. He is co-founder of an online journal Alternative Francophone. CATHERINE WALSH is Professor and Director of the doctoral program in Latin American Cultural Studies at the Universidad Andina Simon Bolivar in Quito, Ecuador. Her research interests include the geopolitics of knowledge, interculturality and concerns related to the Afro-Andean Diaspora and the production of decolonial thought. Among her recent publications are Pensamiento crìtico y matriz colonial (Quito: Abya Yala, 2005), "Interculturality and the Coloniality of Power. An 'Other' Thinking and Positioning from the Colonial Difference," in Coloniality of Power, Transmodernity, and Border Thinking, R. Grosfoguel, J.D. Saldivar, and N. Maldonado-Torres (Eds.) (Durham: Duke University Press, forthcoming) and "Shifting the Geopolitics of Critical Knowledge: Decolonial Thought and Cultural Studies 'Others' in the Andes," Cultural Studies (forthcoming). KRISTIN WATERS has published widely in the areas of race and gender. Her anthology Enlightened Conversations: Women and Men Political Theorists (Blackwell, 2000) challenges political theorists to be more inclusive of race and gender in their research and teaching. Her book Black Women's Intellectual Traditions: Speaking Their Minds, co-edited with Carol Conaway (University of Vermont Press, forthcoming), addresses the varied intellectual traditions of black women's thought that spans more than two hundred years in North America. She is currently Professor of Philosophy at Worcester State College and Visiting Research Associate at Brandeis University. (shrink)
This article is a critical philosophical discussion of Lewis Gordon's An Introduction to Africana Philosophy. Gordon in his text does not portray Africana philosophy as an abstract universalism, philosophy as the “view from nowhere” or philosophy as the “god's eye view” on reality. He also refrains from depicting Africana philosophy as a documentary description of Africana identity, thereby indicating a refusal on his part to reduce Africana philosophy to identity politics, to mere psycho-existential babble. Gordon critically engages with race in (...) his text, but his involvement with this concept does not excessively dominate the text. This article critically explores Africana philosophy's involvement with postmodernism, as well as work through Gordon's notions of disciplinary decadence and the teleological suspension of philosophy. The basic analytical thrust endorses Gordon's efforts to represent Africana philosophy as, among other things, an existential phenomenological account of the being-in-the-world of Africana people. This approach represents Africana philosophy as an anti-Cartesian philosophy, precisely because it does not emanate from a theoretically disembodied consciousness nor from an epistemic knowing subject in search of the transcendental foundations of knowledge. (shrink)
In this paper, I challenge those interpretations of Frege that reinforce the view that his talk of grasping thoughts about abstract objects is consistent with Russell's notion of acquaintance with universals and with Gödel's contention that we possess a faculty of mathematical perception capable of perceiving the objects of set theory. Here I argue the case that Frege is not an epistemological Platonist in the sense in which Gödel is one. The contention advanced is that Gödel bases his Platonism on (...) a literal comparison between mathematical intuition and physical perception. He concludes that since we accept sense perception as a source of empirical knowledge, then we similarly should posit a faculty of mathematical intuition to serve as the source of mathematical knowledge. Unlike Gödel, Frege does not posit a faculty of mathematical intuition. Frege talks instead about grasping thoughts about abstract objects. However, despite his hostility to metaphor, he uses the notion of ‘grasping’ as a strategic metaphor to model his notion of thinking, i.e., to underscore that it is only by logically manipulating the cognitive content of mathematical propositions that we can obtain mathematical knowledge. Thus, he construes ‘grasping’ more as theoretical activity than as a kind of inner mental ‘seeing’. (shrink)