This encyclopedia entry focuses primarily on Kimberlé WilliamsCrenshaw’s theoretical contributions, but also discusses how through her activism, intersectionality – as a framework or an analytic sensibility for making visible the sociolegal invisibility of women of color (and multiply oppressed social groups more generally) – has become praxis, revealing how Black women and other women of color fall “through the cracks” of mutually exclusive anti-racist and feminist discourses or, rather, are pushed into the chasm produced by their respective (...) uninterrogated sexisms and racisms. The brutal paradox that Crenshaw’s oeuvre reveals is that those who are violently located in the basements of social hierarchies, where others make their ascents on their backs, are also those whom emancipatory discourses consistently fail, rendering them marginal in their representations and mobilizations while relying on their creative energies, redirecting them from serving their own immediate interests to advancing those of others with which their experiences only partly coincide. Yet, this representational and epistemic violence undermines transformative movements from within, since it is only by addressing all systems of oppression simultaneously, and by disarticulating their interconnections, that they can ever be dismantled. (shrink)
Kimberlé WilliamsCrenshaw ends her landmark essay “Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence against Women of Color” with a normative claim about coalitions. She suggests that we should reconceptualize identity groups as “in fact coalitions,” or at least as “potential coalitions waiting to be formed.” In this essay, I explore this largely overlooked claim by combining philosophical analysis with archival research I conducted at the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Historical Society Archive in San Francisco about (...) Somos Hermanas, the solidarity project of the Alliance Against Women’s Oppression, based in the San Francisco Women’s Building (1984–90). I extend my analysis into the present by drawing on the oral history and published works of Carmen Vázquez, a key organizer in both Somos Hermanas and the Women’s Building. I argue that conceptualizing identities as in fact coalitions—as complex, internally heterogeneous unities constituted by their internal differences and dissonances and by internal as well as external relations of power—enables us to organize effective political coalitions that cross existing identity categories and to pursue a liberatory politics of interconnection. (shrink)
In feminist theory, intersectionality has become the predominant way of conceptualizing the relation between systems of oppression which construct our multiple identities and our social locations in hierarchies of power and privilege. The aim of this essay is to clarify the origins of intersectionality as a metaphor, and its theorization as a provisional concept in Kimberlé WilliamsCrenshaw’s work, followed by its uptake and mainstreaming as a paradigm by feminist theorists in a period marked by its widespread and (...) rather unquestioned--if, at times, superficial and inattentive--usage. I adduce four analytic benefits of intersectionality as a research paradigm: simultaneity, complexity, irreducibility and inclusivity. Then, I gesture at, and respond to some critiques of intersectionality advanced in the last few years, during which the concept has increasingly come under scrutiny. (shrink)
This book intervenes in the field of intersectionality studies: the integrative examination of the effects of racial, gendered, and class power on people’s lives. While “intersectionality” circulates as a buzzword, Anna Carastathis joins other critical voices to urge a more careful reading. Challenging the narratives of arrival that surround it, Carastathis argues that intersectionality is a horizon, illuminating ways of thinking that have yet to be realized; consequently, calls to “go beyond” intersectionality are premature. A provisional interpretation of intersectionality can (...) disorient habits of essentialism, categorial purity, and prototypicality and overcome dynamics of segregation and subordination in political movements. -/- Through a close reading of critical race theorist Kimberlé WilliamsCrenshaw’s germinal texts, published more than twenty-five years ago, Carastathis urges analytic clarity, contextual rigor, and a politicized, historicized understanding of this widely traveling concept. Intersectionality’s roots in social justice movements and critical intellectual projects—specifically Black feminism—must be retraced and synthesized with a decolonial analysis so its radical potential to actualize coalitions can be enacted. (shrink)
This chapter examines María Lugones’s germane and insightful attempt to theorize “intermeshed oppressions,” which, she argues, have been (mis)represented in women of color feminisms by the concepts of “interlocking systems of oppression” and, more recently, “intersectionality.” The latter, intersectionality, introduced by Black feminist legal scholar Kimberlé WilliamsCrenshaw as a metaphor (1989) and as a “provisional concept” (1991), has become the predominant way of referencing the mutual constitution of what have been theorized as multiple systems of oppression, constructing (...) the multiplicity of social identities. But Lugones’s analysis, which maintains subtle but important distinctions among the concepts of “intermeshed,” “interlocking,” and “intersecting” oppressions, shows that intersectionality theory often conflates fragmentation with multiplicity, and—by reifying “intersectional identities”—reproduces social-ontological fragmentation at the political and perceptual-cognitive levels of representation. Intersectional accounts redeploy unitary categories (for instance, race, gender, class, sexuality, disability) that are defined to the exclusion of each other by privileging the identities of normative group members. Consequently, they remain within what Lugones calls the “logic of purity,” which erases “curdled,” impure, category-transgressive, border-dwelling, mestiza subjects. Although, according to Lugones, intersectionality enables us to discern how the logic of purity produces “women of color” as impossible beings, she argues that the liminal identities of subjects dwelling in categorial interstices can only be made visible by conceptualizing oppressions as fused or “intermeshed.” However, as I interpret her, Lugones is not merely criticizing intersectionality or seeking to transcend its conceptual limitations by proposing an alternate concept. Rather, the concepts of “intermeshed,” “interlocking,” and “intersecting” oppressions do significantly different work in her account and illuminate different aspects of the social ontology, phenomenology, and epistemology of resistance to oppression. First, I situate Lugones with respect to the current conjuncture in intersectionality studies, in which some scholars are calling for a post-intersectional turn. Then, I reconstruct Lugones’s complex account of intermeshed oppressions, interlocking oppressions, and intersectionality. Finally, I discuss the status of intersectionality in the shift in Lugones’s work from “women of color feminisms” to “decolonial feminism.” Intersectionality is now routinely invoked as a representational theory of multiple identities, but Lugones’s heterodox interpretation helps us to see that it is best understood as a critique of representations based on the logic of purity: specifically, of how categorial axes of oppression (mis)represent intermeshed oppressions. Lugones’s triadic distinction (intersecting/interlocking/intermeshed) points toward a provisional usage of intersectionality, namely, to diagnose the fragmentation of social experiences of multiplicity (which, I would argue, is more consistent with the concept’s original aims). In her visionary philosophy, which attempts to theorize resistance against the grain of fragmentation from a conceptual space outside of the “logic of purity,” we find “glimpses” of a non-fragmented account of oppression, and praxical possibilities for liberatory, decolonial feminist coalitions. (shrink)
Taking up Kimberlé Crenshaw's conclusion that black feminist theorists seem to continue to find themselves in many ways “speaking into the void” (Crenshaw 2011, 228), even as their works are widely celebrated, I examine intersectionality critiques as one site where power asymmetries and dominant imaginaries converge in the act of interpretation (or cooptation) of intersectionality. That is, despite its current “status,” intersectionality also faces epistemic intransigence in the ways in which it is read and applied. My aim is (...) not to suggest that intersectionality cannot (or should not) be critiqued, nor do I maintain that celebratory applications/interpretations are immune from epistemic distortion when it comes to interpreting intersectionality. Rather, my goal is to demonstrate that critiques of intersectionality are one important site to examine hermeneutic marginalization and interpretive violence; the politics of citation; and the impact of dominant expectations or established social imaginaries on meaning-making. In so doing, I aim to consider more fully how entrenched ways of thinking are frequently relied upon to interpret and critique intersectionality, even as these are often the very frameworks that intersectionality theorists have identified as highly problematic tools of misrepresentation, erasure, and violation. This slippage away from intersectionality's outlooks, whether in critical or laudatory contexts, is a pivotal site of epistemic negotiation we must examine more closely. (shrink)
In this article I caution that María Lugones's critiques of Kimberlé Crenshaw's intersectional theory posit a dangerous form of epistemic erasure, which underlies Lugones's decolonial methodology. This essay serves as a critical engagement with Lugones's essay “Radical Multiculturalism and Women of Color Feminisms” in order to uncover the decolonial lens within Crenshaw's theory of intersectionality. In her assertion that intersectionality is a “white bourgeois feminism colluding with the oppression of Women of Color,” Lugones precludes any possibility of intersectionality (...) operating as a decolonial method. Although Lugones states that her “decolonial feminism” is for all women of color, it ultimately excludes Black women, particularly with her misconstruing of Crenshaw's articulation of intersectionality that is rooted within the Black American feminist tradition. I explore Lugones's claims by juxtaposing her rendering of intersectionality with Crenshaw's and conclude that Lugones's decolonial theory risks erasing Black women from her framework. (shrink)
The term intersectionality, which is generally attributed to Kimberlé Crenshaw, began as a metaphorical and conceptual tool used to highlight the inability of a single-axis framework to capture the lived experiences of black women. Whilst many disciplines have used the ‘tools’ of intersectionality before 1989, modern day usage of the term is usually associated with Crenshaw’s specific approach. The development of Crenshaw’s intersectionality, originated from the failure of both feminist and anti-racist discourse; to represent and capture the (...) specificity of the discrimination faced by black women. This failure resulted from an inability to identify the multiple grounds which constitute an... (shrink)
In this paper, I revisit Kimberlé Crenshaw's argument in “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex” (1989) to recover a companion metaphor that has been largely forgotten in the “mainstreaming” of intersectionality in (white-dominated) feminist theory. In addition to the now-famous intersection metaphor, Crenshaw offers the basement metaphor to show how—by privileging monistic, mutually exclusive, and analogically constituted categories of “race” and “sex” tethered, respectively, to masculinity and whiteness—antidiscrimination law functions to reproduce social hierarchy, rather than to remedy (...) it, denying Black women plaintiffs legal redress. I argue that in leaving the basement behind, deployments of “intersectionality” that deracinate the concept from its origins in Black feminist thought also occlude Crenshaw's account of the socio-legal reproduction of hierarchical power. (shrink)
What role should rights play in feminist politics and the quest for equality? This article examines Wendy Brown's response to that question in her 'suffering rights as paradoxes' and shows that for all its merits, it draws our attention away from the central question of how to describe women's interests, given the many differences amongst women.
The general scholarship on armed conflict in Manipur, India, ignores the experiences of women as agents. Feminist scholarship counters this tendency, revealing women's everyday responses to the violence that constrains them. However, this scholarship often fails to be intersectional, and it lauds every instance of women's agency without evaluating it in terms of its ability to build peace. Employing Kimberlé Crenshaw's underused distinction between structural and political intersectionality and Saba Mahmood's concept of agency, I analyze my field research conducted (...) with women's peacebuilding groups in Manipur in 2014 and 2015. Using structural intersectionality, I first describe the qualitatively different experiences of women peacebuilders living at different social locations. Using political intersectionality as a normative tool, I then show that ethnic and religious hierarchies often disrupt women's attempts to build peace. Interethnic peacebuilding groups that rely on gender-based solidarity tend to privilege the experiences of the women coming from the majority ethnic group. Other peacebuilding groups, bound by ethnicity, often distrust and resent women who come from different ethnic enclaves. I argue that women's peacebuilding agency must aim at an inclusive justpeace if it is to succeed. We should evaluate agency, rather than glorifying all instances of women's responses to violence. (shrink)
v. 1. William and Henry, 1861-1884 -- v. 2. William and Henry, 1885-1896 -- v. 3. William and Henry, 1897-1910 -- v. 4. 1856-1877 -- v. 5. 1878-1884 -- v. 6. 1885-1889 -- v. 7. 1890-1894 -- v. 8. 1895-June 1899 -- v. 9. July 1899-1901 -- v. 10. 1902-March 1905 -- v. 11. April 1905-March 1908 -- v. 12. April 1908-August 1910.
This collection is a festschrift prepared for Williams on his retirement from the White’s Professorship of Moral Philosophy at Oxford. The topics covered include equality, consistency, comparison between science and ethics, integrity, moral reasons, the moral system, and moral knowledge. Most of the chapters combine exegetical and critical ambitions. With contributions by J. E. J. Altham, Jon Elster, Nicholas Jardine, Ross Harrison, Christopher Hookway, John McDowell, Martin Hollis, Martha Nussbaum, Amartya Sen, and Charles Taylor, and replies by Bernard (...) class='Hi'>Williams. (shrink)
Beliefs are freely attributed to God nowadays in Anglo–American philosophical theology. This practice undoubtedly reflects the twentieth–century popularity of the view that knowledge consists of true justified belief . The connection is frequently made explicit. If knowledge is true justified belief then whatever God knows He believes. It would seem that much recent talk of divine beliefs stems from Nelson Pike's widely discussed article, ‘Divine Omniscience and Voluntary Action’. In this essay Pike develops a version of the classic argument for (...) the incompatibility of divine foreknowledge and free will in terms of divine forebelief. He introduces this shift by premising that ‘ A knows X ’ entails ‘A believes X ’. As a result of all this, philosophers have increasingly been using the concept of belief in defining ‘omniscience’. (shrink)
This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most important libraries around the world), and other notations in the work. This work is in the public domain (...) in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work.As a reproduction of a historical artifact, this work may contain missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public. We appreciate your support of the preservation process, and thank you for being an important part of keeping this knowledge alive and relevant. (shrink)
In his introduction to this collection, John representative. McDermott presents James's thinking in all its manifestations, stressing the importance of radical empiricism and placing into perspective the doctrines of pragmatism and the will to believe. The critical periods of James's life are highlighted to illuminate the development of his philosophical and psychological thought. The anthology features representive selections from The Principles of Psychology, The Will to Believe , and The Variety of Religious Experience in addition to the complete Essays in (...) Radical Empiricism and A Pluralistic Universe . The original 1907 edition of Pragmatism is included, as well as classic selections from all of James's other major works. Of particular significance for James scholarship is the supplemented version of Ralph Barton Perry's Annotated Bibliography of the Writings of William James , with additions bringing it up to 1976. (shrink)
Scott Williams’s Latin Social model of the Trinity holds that the trinitarian persons have between them a single set of divine mental powers and a single set of divine mental acts. He claims, nevertheless, that on his view the persons are able to use indexical pronouns such as “I.” This claim is examined and is found to be mistaken.
To date, there have been only two scholarly papers devoted to a comparison of Gestalt psychology with the psychology of William James. An early paper by Mary Whiton Calkins called attention to numerous similarities between these two schools of thought. However, a more recent paper by Mary Henle argues that the ideas of William James, as presented in The Principles of Psychology, are irrelevant to Gestalt psychology. In what follows, this claim is evaluated both in terms of The Principles and (...) Jamesís larger vision as set forth in his mature philosophical works. Although there are important differences between James and the Gestalt psychologists, there are also striking similarities particularly when the two schools are examined in the light of Jamesís mature philosophical perspectives. (shrink)
That law is coercive is something we all more or less take for granted. It is an assumption so rooted in our ways of thinking that it is taken as a given of social reality, an uncontroversial datum. Because it is so regarded, it is infrequently stated, and when it is, it is stated without any hint of possible complications or qualifications. I will call this the “prereflective view,” and I want to examine it with the care it deserves.
In The City of God , XI, 10, St Augustine claims that the divine nature is simple because ‘it is what it has’ . We may take this as a slogan for the Doctrine of Divine Simplicity , a doctrine which finds its way into orthodox medieval Christian theological speculation. Like the doctrine of God's timeless eternality, the DDS has seemed obvious and pious to many, and incoherent, misguided, and repugnant to others. Unlike the doctrine of God's timeless eternality, the (...) DDS has received very little critical attention. The DDS did not originate with Augustine, but I am not primarily concerned with its pedigree. Nor am I concerned to ask how the doctrine interacts with trinitarian speculation. I will have my hands full as it is. In Section I of this paper I shall provide a rough characterization of the DDS, indicate its complexity, and focus on a particular aspect of the doctrine which will exercise us in the remainder of the paper, namely, the thesis that the divine attributes are all identical with each other and with God. In section n I shall discuss Alvin Plantinga's recent objections to Aquinas' version of the DDS. I shall then offer a more detailed presentation of what I take to be Aquinas' version , and recast it in terms of a theory of attributes which is significantly different from Plantinga's . Although the recasting of the doctrine will enable me to rebut Plantinga's objections , it by no means solves all the problems of the DDS. In section vi I shall discuss the chief lingering problem facing a defender of the DDS. (shrink)
Recently, the work of philosopher-psychologist William James has undergone something of a renaissance. In this contribution to the trend, William Gavin argues that James's plea for the "reinstatement of the vague" to its proper place in our experience should be regarded as a seminal metaphor for his thought in general. The concept of vagueness applies to areas of human experience not captured by facts that can be scientifically determined nor by ideas that can be formulated in words. In areas as (...) seemingly diverse as psychology, religion, language, and metaphysics, James continually highlights the importance of the ambiguous, the contextual, the pluralistic, or the uncertain over the foundational. Indeed, observes the author, only in a vague unfinished world can the human self, fragile as it is, have the possibility of making a difference or exercising the will to believe. Taking James's plea seriously, Gavin traces the idea of the vague beyond the philosopher's own texts. In "conversations" with other philosophers--including Peirce, Marx, Dewey, and, to a lesser extent, Rorty and Derrida--the author shows that a version of James's position is central to their thought. Finally, Gavin looks for the pragmatic upshot of James's plea, reaffirming the importance of the vague in two concrete areas: the doctor-patient relationship in medicine and the creation and experiencing of modern art. In conclusion, Gavin argues that James's work is itself vague, in a positive sense, and that as such it functions as a "spur" to the reader. (shrink)
During the past few decades a growing interest in what is often called the ‘Kyoto School’ of philosophy has evidenced itself here and there in the West, especially in discussions of comparative religious thought and in the pages of journals which are sensitive, in the post-colonial world, to the value of giving attention to contemporary thought that originates outside the Anglo-American and continental contexts. What has made the so-called Kyoto School especially interesting is the fact that those thinkers identified with (...) it obviously possess a wide acquaintance with Western thought but also have a programme of clarifying points at which they, as Japanese philosophers, find Western philosophy either in sum or in its parts inadequate or objectionable. Moreover, inasmuch as the philosophers of the Kyoto School have deliberately reached back into the Mahayana Buddhist component in Japanese civilization in order to find terms, perspectives, and even foundations for their own analyses and constructions, Western students of comparative religion and comparative thought have in the study of this school a unique aperture for observing how a group of thinkers, while sharing modernity and its problems with us, reates both of these to a religious tradition which is in many ways strikingly different from that of the West. (shrink)
One of the most influential analytic philosophers of the late twentieth century, William P. Alston is a leading light in epistemology, philosophy of religion, and the philosophy of language. In this volume, twelve leading philosophers critically discuss the central topics of his work in these areas, including perception, epistemic circularity, justification, the problem of religious diversity, and truth.
This essay focuses on what I shall call “cosmopolitan altruism”—the motivationally effective desire to assist needy or endangered strangers. Section I describes recent research that confirms the existence of this phenomenon. Section II places it within interlocking sets of moral typologies that distinguish among forms of altruism along dimensions of scope, interests risked, motivational source, and baseline of moral judgment. Section III explores some of the relationships between altruism—a concept rooted in modern moral philosophy and Christianity—and the understanding of virtue (...) and friendship characteristic of Aristotelian ethical analysis. Finally, Section IV argues that cosmopolitan altruism does not represent moral progress simpliciter over other, less inclusive views, and that the widening of moral sympathy to encompass endangered strangers entails significant moral costs. (shrink)
In his article, ‘Gratuitous evil and divine providence’, Alan Rhoda claims to have produced an uncontroversial theological premise for the evidential argument from evil. I argue that his premise is by no means uncontroversial among theists, and I doubt that any premise can be found that is both uncontroversial and useful for the argument from evil.
Donald Davidson notoriously rejected ‘metaphorical meaning’ and denied the existence of linguistic mechanisms by which metaphorical significance is conveyed. He contended that the meanings metaphorical sentences have are just their literal meanings, though metaphorical utterances may brute-causally have important cognitive effects. Contrastingly, John Searle offers a Gricean account of metaphor as an elaborated kind of implicature, and defends metaphorical meaning as speaker-meaning. Each of those positions is subject to very telling objections from the other's point of view. This paper proposes (...) a synthesis that combines the respective virtues of Davidson's and Searle's accounts and avoids all the objections to each. (shrink)
Here are some things that are widely believed about free will and determinism. Free will is prima facie incompatible with determinism. The incompatibility is logical or at least conceptual or a priori. A compatibilist needs to explain how free will can co-exist with determinism, paradigmatically by offering an analysis of ‘free’ action that is demonstrably compatible with determinism. Free will is not impugned by quantum in determinism, at least not in the same decisive way that it is impugned by determinism. (...) To reconcile free will with quantum indeterminism takes work, but the work comes under the heading of metaphysical business-as-usual; to reconcile free will with determinism requires a conceptual breakthrough. And listen to Laura Waddell Ekstrom on the burden of proof. (shrink)
This essay explores the ways in which a broadly pluralist outlook can help illuminate longstanding issues of constitutional theory and practice. It begins with a common-sense understanding of pluralism as the diversity of observed practices within a general category. It turns out that many assumptions Americans and others often make about constitutional essentials are valid only locally but not generically. The essay then turns to pluralism in a more technical and philosophical sense—specifically, the account of value pluralism adumbrated by Isaiah (...) Berlin and developed by his followers. Section 3 sketches this version of pluralism, and section 4 brings it to bear on a range of familiar constitutional issues. In the process, a distinction emerges between, on the one hand, areas of variation among constitutions and, on the other, some general truths about political life that define core constitutional functions. The essay concludes with some brief reflections on the normative thrust of pluralist constitutional theory—in particular, a presumption in favor of the maximum accommodation of individual and group differences consistent with the maintenance of constitutional unity and civic order. (shrink)
I begin with a note about moral goodness as a quality, disposition, or trait of a person or human being. This has at least two different senses, one wider and one narrower. Aristotle remarked that the Greek term we translate as justice sometimes meant simply virtue or goodness as applied to a person and sometimes meant only a certain virtue or kind of goodness. The same thing is true of our word “goodness.” Sometimes being a good person means having all (...) the virtues, or at least all the moral ones; then goodness equals the whole of virtue. But sometimes, being a good person has a narrower meaning, namely, being kind, generous, and so forth. Thus, my OED sometimes equates goodness with moral excellence as a whole and sometimes with a particular moral excellence, viz., kindness, beneficence, or benevolence; and the Bible, when it speaks of God as being good sometimes means that God has all the virtues and sometimes only that he is kind, mereiful, or benevolent. When Jesus says, “Why callest thou me good: None is good, save one, that is God,” he seems to be speaking of goodness in the inclusive sense, but when the writer of Exodus has God himself say that he is “merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,” God is using “goodness” in the narrower sense in which it means benevolence, for he goes on to make it clear that he is also just and severe. Similarly, “good will” may mean either “morally good will” in general, as it does in Kant, or it may mean only “benevolent will,” as it usually does; in “men of good will” it is perhaps ambiguous. (shrink)
Dale Tuggy argues that his divine-deception argument against Social Trinitarianism remains unscathed, in spite of my recent objections. I maintain that his argument is question-begging and exegetically weak, and does not succeed in refuting Social Trinitarianism.