In this chapter I attempt to provide a general overview of the philosophical literature on immigration from both an ethics of immigration and philosophy of race perspective. I then try to make the case that putting these two literatures into conversation would be fruitful. In particular, that it could provide an underappreciated argument for limiting the discretion states are normally thought to enjoy with respect to immigration.
Our symposium on Naomi Zack's newest book, The Ethics and Mores of Race: Equality after the History of Philosophy (Rowman & Littlefield, 2011), had its origin in an Author Meets Critics panel of the Radical Philosophy Association at the American Philosophical Association Pacific Division conference in 2012, organized by José Jorge Mendoza. The respondents--Kristie Dotson, Lewis Gordon, José Jorge Mendoza, and Lucius T. Outlaw Jr.--have revised and expanded their original papers and Naomi Zack has in turn provided (...) a detailed response to their contributions. The result is an insightful, critical, and multiperspectival engagement with Zack's work. Throughout the respondents' papers you will find references to the twelve requirements that Zack argues are necessary for an ethics of race. These can be found in an appendix to Naomi Zack's response. (shrink)
The precise conceptions of race deployed by Mexican philosophers in the first half of the twentieth century have often been poorly understood. Consequently, the specifically racial components in their work have been frequently dismissed on the grounds that they were unscientific, irresponsible, and/or sloppy. I hope to show that with a sufficiently rich understanding of at least the seminal works many of these criticisms can be blunted.
Analysing race as the metaphor of life - by means of which Thomas Hobbes describes the passions in The Elements of Law, natural and politic - seems to be the right occasion to underline the relationship between the mechanistic idea of human being and sports activity. This approach makes a paradigm come to the surface - where factors such as extreme competition, the pursuit of success at any cost, ineliminable fear of defeat confirm the relevance of the Malmesbury born (...) philosopher's thought, even within the so popular but little investigated field of sport. (shrink)
"Race" is so highly charged and loaded a concept it often hampers critical thinking about racial practice and policy. A philosophical approach allows us to isolate and analyse the key questions: What is race? Can we do without race? What is racism and why is it wrong? What should our policies on race and racism be? The Philosophy of Race presents a concise and up-to-date overview of the central philosophical debates about race. It (...) then builds on this philosophical foundation to analyse the sociopolitical questions of racism and race-relevant policy. Throughout, the discussion is illustrated with a wide range of examples: Afro-American 'blackness'; British-Asian racial formation; Aboriginal identity in Australia; the racial grouping of Romany-Gypsies and Jews in Europe; categories of race in Brazil; and the concept of model minorities in the US and UK. (shrink)
This year’s topic is “Genomics and Philosophy of Race.” Different researchers might work on distinct subsets of the six thematic clusters below, which are neither mutually exclusive nor collectively exhaustive: (1) Concepts of ‘Race’; (2) Mathematical Modeling of Human History and Population Structure; (3) Data and Technologies of Human Genomics; (4) Biological Reality of Race; (5) Racialized Selves in a Global Context; (6) Pragmatic Consequences of ‘Race Talk’ among Biologists.
The study of race and racism is an area of growth in philosophy. The quantity of research published under the banner of ‘the philosophy of race’ is increasing; research monographs and edited collections are appearing in greater numbers, and there is even a noticeable though still lamentably small increase in the number of professional posi- tions being advertised in the philosophy of race. However, one notable feature of this research is how much it focuses (...) upon the racial context of the USA. Most of its active and prominent researchers are based in the USA, nearly all new posts with designated research specialisms in race are at universities in the USA, and most of its key research questions are framed in the racial idiom and social context of the contemporary USA. In many respects, this is a good thing: if the philosophy of race cannot find fertile ground in the USA, there is little hope of it flourishing anywhere. However, this emphasis on the US context may have a negative side too. (shrink)
This article examines Samantha Vice's essay ‘How Do I Live in This Strange Place?’, which sparked a storm of controversy in South Africa, as a starting point for interrogating understandings of whiteness and racism that are dominant in critical philosophy of race. I argue that a significant body of philosophical scholarship on whiteness in general and by white scholars in particular obfuscates the structural dimension of racism. The moralisation of racism that often permeates philosophical scholarship reproduces colourblind logics, (...) which provide individualistic explanations for structural problems, thereby sustaining white dominance. In the process, I show that notions of white guilt, white habits, white ignorance, white invisibility, white privilege, and white shame as they are theorised in much critical philosophy of race share a crucial limitation: they minimise white people's active interest in reproducing the racist status quo. Studies, such as Vice's, that frame racism as a moral dilemma while silencing its institutionalisation and the central cause for its existence and longevity – that is, white people's investment in maintaining economic, political, and symbolic power – further naturalise white supremacy. (shrink)
The legacy and future of continental philosophy with regard to the critical philosophy of race can be seen in prominent canonical philosophical figures, the scholarship of contemporary philosophers, and recent edited collections and book series. The following reflections highlight some (though certainly not all) of the contacts and overlaps between a select number of continental philosophers and the critical philosophy of race. In particular, I consider how the continental tradition has contributed to the development of (...) the critical philosophy of race by offering tools from existentialism, phenomenology, and genealogy to emphasize questions of existence, facticity, lived experience, and historicity as they relate to analyses of race, racism, slavery, and colonialism.1 I argue that these tools have been used both implicitly and explicitly in the writings of contemporary continental philosophers who theorize about race and that the critical philosophy of race has impacted and expanded continental philosophy in significant ways. (shrink)
Does the concept of “race” find support in contemporary science, particularly in biology? No, says Naomi Zack, together with so many others who nowadays argue that human races lack biological reality. This claim is widely accepted in a number of fields (philosophy, biology, anthropology, and psychology), and Zack’s book represents only the latest defense of social constructivism in this context. There are several reasons why she fails to make a convincing case.
Shannon Sullivan has criticized Richard Rorty for the discrepancy in his treatments of Cornel West and Marilyn Frye's prophetic philosophies, which Sullivan reads to indicate a racial bias on Rorty's part. This article defends Rorty from this criticism, first clarifying his view of the discontinuous relation of philosophy to politics, then, on the basis of this clarification, arguing that Rorty's different treatments of West and Frye do not reveal a racial bias as Sullivan claims. Finally, revisiting Rorty's exchange with (...) Nancy Fraser, it is argued that although Rorty has no philosophy of race, he does offer a strong antiracist politics. (shrink)
This book explains the importance of embodiment in understanding the function of race. With chapters by expert contributors and coverage of the most recent thinking in philosophy of race, the book is ideal for upper-level students in Phenomenology, Philosophy of Race and Critical Race Theory.
Toward a Political Philosophy of Race, by Falguni Sheth, SUNY Press, 2009. Events involving the persecution of African‑Americans and other racial groups are normally thought to involve a pre-existing minority being singled out out for persecution. In Toward a Political Philosophy of Race, Falguni Sheth argues that this understanding gets the causal story backwards. In reality, a group that is perceived to pose a political threat has a racial identity imposed upon it by the state during (...) episodes of oppression. On Sheth's account, racial identity is the product of anxiety and panic on the part of the wider society. As she puts it, 'I distinguish between racial markers - skin type, phenotype, physical differences, and signifiers such as 'unruly' behaviors.' The former, in my argument, are not the ground of race, but the marks ascribed to a group that has already become (or is in on the way to becoming) outcasted." This review critically assesses Sheth's argument for her position and her accompanying critique of liberalism. (shrink)
In this paper I consider recent feminist critiques of the whiteness of philosophy’s secularism. Building on the distinction in disability studies between accommodation and access, I argue that, in order to effectively address philosophy’s whiteness and heteronormativity, critiques of philosophy’s secularism must be accountable to religion’s historical and contemporary role in perpetuating harm against queer people. While it is absolutely crucial to critique and work to undo the whiteness of mainstream philosophy, it is equally important to (...) do so in a way that does not further marginalize queer people. I build on Gloria Anzaldùa’sdistinction between spirituality and religion, Sara Ahmed’s discussion of willfulness, and the distinction between accommodation and accessin disability studies to suggest a nonadditive concept of pluralism that moves toward the transformation of philosophy. (shrink)
This article is a response to Robert Bernasconi’s critical philosophy of race. I start by speaking of the specific style in which life and philosophy are related in his work. I argue that he devises a political phenomenology which considers the lived experiences of racialization and inquires into their historical conditions, which have become “practico-inert” in facticity. Bernasconi’s thesis that the history of race is not determined by racial essentialism and his account of race as (...) a border concept call for an expansion of the notion of race that will better serve the cause of the global fight against racism. (shrink)
In Preludes to Pragmatism: Toward A Reconstruction of Philosophy, Phillip Kitcher argues in Chapter 6, “Does ‘Race’ Have a Future” that developments in evolutionary biology may support a separation of our species into subcategories that could be regarded as races. The human species, he argues, could possibly be divided, using a similar methodology to that employed by evolutionary biologists, into relatively stable and isolated breeding populations that bear distinctive and salient clusters of significant genotypic and phenotypic traits. Hence, (...) the eliminativist claim that there is nothing in the world that corresponds to our use of the term ‘race’ is mistaken. There is, in short, a scientifically legitimate .. (shrink)
This article examines which lessons political philosophers can learn from discussions within Critical Philosophy of Race. The article assumes a social-constructionist understanding of “race” and focuses on the question of how we can reconcile normative universalism with sensitivity to differences that have been created by processes of racialisation. To answer this question, it looks exemplarily at debates within three different fields of political philosophy: normativity, politics, and law. First, it presents objections voiced by critical race (...) theory against liberal, ideal conceptions of justice. Second, the article reconstructs the main arguments for and against affirmative action as a policy measure directed at minority groups. Third, it focuses on racial inequalities in the context of penal law. By way of conclusion, it suggests how debates around justice and punishment and the conceptual lenses offered by CPoR can be fruitfully applied to the German context. (shrink)
For many decades, race and racicsm have been common areas of study in departments of sociology, history, politcal science, English, and athropology. Much more recently, as the historical concept of race and racial categories have faced signifcant scientific and politcal challenges, philosophers have become more interested in these areas. This changing understanding of the ontology of race has invited inquiry from researchers in moral philosophy, metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of science, philosophy of language, and aesthetics. (...) The Routlege Companion to Philosophy of Race offers in one comprehensive volume newly written articles on race from the world’s leading Analytic and Continental philosophers. It is, however, accessible to a readership beyond philosophy as well, providing a cohesive referencefor a wide student and academic readership. The _Companion_ synethesizes current philosophical understandings of race, providing 50 chapters on the history of philosophy and race as well as how race might be invesitaged in the usual frameworks of contemporary philosophy. The volume concludes with a section on philosophical approaches to some topics with broad interest outside of philosophy, like Colonialism, Affirmative Action, Eugenics, Immigration, Race and Disability, and Post-Racialism. By clearly explaining and carefully organizing the leading current philosophical thinking on race, this timely collection will help define the subject and bring renewed understanding of race to students and researchers in the humanities, social science, and sciences. (shrink)
Despite the recent rise in articles by American philosophers willing to deal with race, the sophistication of American philosophy's conceptualizations of American racism continues to lag behind other liberal arts fields committed to similar endeavors. Whereas other fields like American studies, history, sociology, and Black studies have found the foundational works of Black scholars essential to "truly" understanding the complexities of racism, American philosophy-driven by the refusal of white philosophers to acknowledge and incorporate the foundational works of (...) Black scholars at the turn of the century, as well as the relevant insights of contemporary race theorists-remains in a very real sense underdeveloped .. (shrink)
Racial disparities in health outcomes have recently become a flashpoint in the debate about the value of race as a biological concept. What role, if any, race has in the etiology of disease is a philosophically and scientifically contested topic. In this article, I expand on the insights of the new mechanistic philosophy of science to defend a mechanism discovery approach to investigating epidemiological racial disparities. The mechanism discovery approach has explanatory virtues lacking in the populational approach (...) typically employed in the study of race and biomedicine. The explanatory constraints that form an integral part of the new mechanistic approach enable mechanism discovery to avoid the epistemic and normative shortcomings of the populational approach. The methodology of mechanism discovery can fruitfully be extended to the treatment and reversal of epidemiological racial disparities. (shrink)
Introductions and Histories: How, When, and Where of Race in Philosophy Africana Philosophy has successfully argued itself to be an important area of philosophical discourse. Fundamental to this effort is Africana Philosophy's work to bring race, race thinking, and racism to the fore of philosophical examination. In the wake of Africana Philosophy's influence, discussions of race, race thinking, and racism are becoming central to regular philosophical discourse. The production of introductory works (...) on race and philosophy and works examining the place of race and race thinking in the history of European canonical philosophy points to philosophy's growing self awareness of race as foundational to what philosophy as a body of knowledge is and its self awareness of how race and race thinking informed the development of the field. These types of texts contribute to the normalization of race as a subfield of philosophy. Specifically, this essay will analyze four contemporary texts that exemplify this trend and what they contribute to mainstream philosophy's evolution as a site that understands race and race's role as a part of human experience and a necessary part of the larger philosophical project. (shrink)
By helping to introduce the relatively new concept of institutional racism into Britain, Sir Michael and Ann Dummett expanded the concept of racism beyond the limited sense it had been given in the 1940s and 1950s when racism tended to be associated with the scientific concept of race and when the focus tended to fall on the intent to harm or speak harm of a group that was identified as a race by science. They recognised that ‘race’ (...) was primarily a political and not a scientific concept. This led them in a different direction from that taken by the next generation of mainstream philosophers working in this area, such as Kwame Anthony Appiah, who adopted the UNESCO approach of highlighting the scientific deficiencies of the concept of race. However, although they both succeeded in developing ways to break through the forms of self-deception that allow institutional racism to go unnoticed and at the same time offered instructive insights into the ways politicians hide behind the racism of others, I argue that they failed to see, as clearly as Sartre and Fanon did, that the conception of institutional racism necessitates a structural changes in society beyond anything they contemplated. (shrink)
The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Race provides up-to-date explanation and analyses by leading scholars of contemporary issues in African American philosophy and philosophy of race. These original essays encompass the major topics and approaches in this emerging philosophical subfield that supports demographic inclusion and diversity while at the same time strengthening the conceptual arsenal of social and political philosophy. Over the course of the volume's ten topic-based sections, ideas about race held by (...) Locke, Hume, Kant, Hegel, and Nietzsche are supplemented by suppressed thought from the African diaspora, early twentieth-century African American perspectives and Native-, Asian-, and Latin-, American views. The contributors bring philosophical analysis to bear on the status of racial divisions as categories of humanity in the biological sciences, as well as within contemporary criticism and conceptual analysis. Essays present the special applications of American philosophy and continental philosophy to ideas of race as methodological alternatives to more analytic approaches. As a collection of analyses and assessments of 'race' in the real world, the volume pays trenchant and relevant attention to historical and contemporary racism and what it means to say that 'race' and racial identities are socially constructed. The essays analyze contemporary social issues including the importance of racial difference and identity in education, public health, medicine, IQ and other standardized tests, and sports. Additionally, the essays consider the societal limitations and structures provided by public policy and law. As a critical theory, the volume compares the study of race to feminism. Historical and contemporary, academic and popular, racisms pertaining to male and female gender receive special consideration throughout the volume. While this comprehensive collection may have the effect of a textbook, each of the original essays is a fresh and authentic development of important present thought. (shrink)
Although 1994 is popularly represented as a year of major transition from an oppressive society to a democratic one in South African history, it did not mark the end of White Supremacy but instead its evolution from one constitutional form into another. This is because the so-called “right of conquest” remains affirmed in South Africa by the much celebrated constitution Act 108 of 1996. Since the early 90s, Ubuntu has been employed by the elite parties involved in the “negotiations” for (...) the transition to the “new” South Africa, to justify the new society. This perverse employment of Ubuntu has been largely supported with the aid of sophistic academic posturing by the largely white academic establishment in South Africa and its network of international allies. Using African philosophical hermeneutics as a method, we will ground another interpretation of Ubuntu which stems from two interrelated roots. The first root is a firm understanding of and engagement with the Bantu languages and cultures which are its primordial philosophical basis on the one hand. The second is the study of the history of Ubuntu as lived and living philosophy responding to the challenge of the conquest of the indigenous people in the unjust wars of colonisation. Towards this end we will draw from the experience of Ubuntu -inspired movements in the history of the wars of resistance and the struggle for liberation ongoing since 1652. (shrink)
Naomi Zack brings us an indispensable work in the ethics of race through an inquiry into the history of moral philosophy. The Ethics and Mores of Race: Equality after the History of Philosophy enters into a web of ideas, ethics, and morals that untangle our evolving ideas of racial equality straight into the twenty-first century.
The Conjectural Body combines continental philosophy with musicology, popular music studies, and feminist, critical race, and postcolonial theories to offer a unique perspective on issues of gender, race, and the philosophy of music. It is one of the few books in philosophy to take popular music seriously, and is one of the few books in continental feminism to privilege music over the visual.
Philosophers of science widely believe that the hereditarian theory about racial differences in IQ is based on methodological mistakes and confusions involving the concept of heritability. I argue that this "received view" is wrong: methodological criticisms popular among philosophers are seriously misconceived, and the discussion in philosophy of science about these matters is largely disconnected from the real, empirically complex issues debated in science.
The Philosophy and Biology of Race and Sex: A Course. Reprinted in Masculinity Lessons: Men, Masculinity, and Women’s and Gender Studies, ed. James Catano and Daniel Novak (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011).
Naomi Zack brings us an indispensable work in the ethics of race through an inquiry into the history of moral philosophy. The Ethics and Mores of Race: Equality after the History of Philosophy enters into a web of ideas, ethics, and morals that untangle our evolving ideas of racial equality straight into the twenty-first century. In the preface to the paperback edition, Zack addresses the criticisms raised in response to this book and concludes that a focus (...) on rights and justice, rather than privilege, is the only fruitful pathway towards a functioning ethics of race. (shrink)
This paper examines Pierre Hadot’s philosophy as a way of life in the context of race. I argue that a “way of life” approach to philosophy renders intelligible how anti-racist confrontation of racist ideas and institutionalized white complicity is a properly philosophical way of life requiring regulated reflection on habits – particularly, habits of whiteness. I first rehearse some of Hadot’s analysis of the “way of life” orientation in philosophy, in which philosophical wisdom is understood as (...) cultivated by actions which result in the creation of wise habits. I analyze a phenomenological claim about the nature of habit implied by the “way of life” approach, namely, that habits can be both the cause and the effect of action. This point is central to the “way of life” philosophy, I claim, in that it makes possible the intelligent redirection of habits, in which wise habits are more the effect than simply the cause of action. Lastly, I illustrate the “way of life” approach in the context of anti-racism by turning to Linda Martín Alcoff’s whiteness anti-eliminativism, which outlines a morally defensible transformation of the habits of whiteness. I argue that anti-racism provides an intelligible context for modern day forms of what Hadot calls “spiritual exercises” insofar as the “way of life” philosophy is embodied in the practice of whites seeing themselves seeing as white and seeing themselves being seen as white. (shrink)
A traditional social scientific divide concerns the centrality of the interpretation of local understandings as opposed to attending to relatively general factors in understanding human individual and group differences. We consider one of the most common social scientific variables, race, and ask how to conceive of its causal power. We suggest that any plausible attempt to model the causal effects of such constructed social roles will involve close interplay between interpretationist and more general elements. Thus, we offer a case (...) study that one cannot offer a comprehensive model of the causal power of racial categories as social constructions without careful attention both to local meanings and more general mechanisms. (shrink)
This chapter focuses on a critical analysis of particular theoretical frameworks in psychiatry in their interplay with issues of race and gender. Analysis shows that theoretical perspective is one of the most important factors in play in working toward the goal of eliminating racism and sexism from psychiatry. To this end, four types of theoretical frameworks are considered: naturalism, social constructionism, relativism and antirelativism, and phenomenology. Also considered are efforts to show the compatibility of two different frameworks. Each framework (...) is explored and critiqued regarding its potential to expose and correct racist and sexist attitudes that are incorporated into research and treatment in psychiatry. Included are discussions of the relevance of realism and antirealism in evaluating theoretical frameworks, as well as evaluation of theoretical claims regarding the roles of biology, genetics, the medical model, and culture in either sustaining or counteracting racism and sexism in psychiatry, including psychoanalysis. Finally, Husserlian phenomenology is suggested as a philosophical framework for psychiatry that can transcend the limitations of the other frameworks discussed. Phenomenology enables psychiatry, including psychology and psychoanalysis, to constitute itself as a science that transcends both constructionist relativism and naturalistic reductionism. (shrink)
The aim of this article is to develop an argument against metaphysical debates about the existence of human races. I argue that the ontology of race is underdetermined by both empirical and non-empirical evidence due to a plurality of equally permissible candidate meanings of "race." Furthermore, I argue that this underdetermination leads to a deflationist diagnosis according to #hich disputes about the existence of human races are non-substantive verbal disputes. $hile this diagnosis resembles general deflationist strategies in contemporary (...) metaphysics" I show that my argument does not presuppose controversial metametaphysical assumptions. (shrink)
This article seeks to explore ways in which pre-college pedagogical resources – particularly Critical Race Pedagogy developed for high school students, as well as Philosophy for Children – can be helpfully employed by college level instructors who wish to dialogue with students about the nature of race and racial oppression. More specifically, we wish to explore how P4C can both learn from, and be put to the service of, CRP, and how this provides a useful framework for (...) philosophical conversations about race at the college and pre-college levels. Our arguments are interwoven with narratives of our personal experiences utilising these pre-college pedagogical resources in conversations about race, so as to illustrate and provide context for our claims. We ultimately contend that these resources can help pedagogues in both higher and lower education work toward unmuting the voices of undervalued and underserved students in the United States. (shrink)
Matt LaVine argues that there is more potential in bringing the history of early analytic philosophy and critical theories of race and gender together than has been traditionally recognized. In particular, he explores the changes associated with a shift from revolutionary aspects of early analytic philosophy.
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