Housed in one volume for the first time are several of the seminal essays on Du Bois's contributions to sociology and critical social theory: from DuBois as inventor of the sociology of race to Du Bois as the first sociologist of American religion; from Du Bois as a pioneer of urban and rural sociology to Du Bois as innovator of the sociology of gender and culture; and finally from Du Bois as groundbreaking sociologist of education and cultural criminologist to Du (...) Bois as critic of the disciplinary decadence of the discipline of sociology. Unlike any other anthology or critical reader on Du Bois, this new volume offers an excellent overview of the critical commentary on arguably one of the most imaginative and innovative, perceptive and prolific founders of the discipline of sociology. (shrink)
Philosophy, according to a prominent conception of its nature and method, consists primarily of conceptual or linguistic analysis. Because the relations between concepts are logical, and because the propositions which express them are necessary, philosophy is taken to be an a priori activity.
This chapter introduces W.E.B. Du Bois’s original political thought and his strategies for political advocacy. It is limited to explaining the pressure he puts on the liberal social contract tradition, which prioritizes the public values of freedom and equality for establishing fair and inclusive terms of political membership. However, unlike most liberal theorists, Du Bois’s political thought concentrates on the politics of race, colonialism, gender, and labor, among other themes, in order to redefine how political theorists and activists should build (...) a democratic polity that is truly free and equal for all. Additionally, this chapter defines some key concepts Du Bois developed to scrutinize a white-controlled world that does not welcome black and brown persons as moral equals. These trailblazing concepts include: the doctrine of racialism, double consciousness, and Pan-Africanism. Finally, this chapter defends Du Bois’s contributions to black feminist thought and American labor politics, which inspired major social justice movements in the twentieth century, in which he played a notable role. (shrink)
This chapter presents an essay by W. E. B. Du Bois that deals with the issue of race. He raises questions such as: What is the real meaning of race. What has, in the past, been the law of race development? What lessons has the past history of race development to teach the rising Negro people? He describes the American Negro Academy, which aims at once to be the epitome and expression of the intellect of the black-blooded people of America, (...) the exponent of the race ideals of one of the world's great races. He concludes by outlining a proposed creed for the Academy. (shrink)
William Ernest Johnson was a renowned British logician and economist, and also a fellow of King's College, Cambridge. Originally published in 1921, this book forms the first of a three-volume series by Johnson relating to 'the whole field of logic as ordinarily understood'. The series is widely regarded as Johnson's greatest achievement, making a significant contribution to the tradition of philosophical logic. This book will be of value to anyone with an interest in Johnson's theories, philosophy and the historical development (...) of logic. (shrink)
This chapter presents an essay by W. E. B. Du Bois on the strivings of the American Negro. He cites the double-consciousness of the Negro, the sense of always looking at one's self through the eyes of others, of measuring one's soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his two-ness—an American, a Negro two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength (...) alone keeps it from being torn asunder. He argues that the history of the American Negro is the history of this strife,—this longing to attain self—conscious manhood, to merge his double self into a better and truer self. (shrink)
Nothing was more important for W. E. B. Du Bois than to promote the upward mobility of African Americans. This essay revisits his “The Conversation of Races” to demonstrate its general philosophical importance. Ultimately, Du Bois’s three motivations for giving the address reveal his view of the nature of philosophical inquiry: to critique earlier phenotypic conceptions of race, to show the essentiality of history, and to promote a reflexive practice. Commentators have been unduly invested in the hermeneutic readings and as (...) a result have misunderstood it as a philosophical text. Du Bois did more than introduce the concept of race into the purview of philosophy, he provided a method for philosophical inquiry into a concept that is notoriously difficult to approach with precision. My goal here is to show why no introduction to philosophy and no discussion about the nature of philosophical inquiry is complete without consideration of “Conservation.” Certainly, it is a text about race, but it is also an important philosophical text in general. (shrink)
This essay presents the normative foundation of W.E.B. Du Bois’s constructivist theory of justice in three steps. First, I show that for Du Bois the public sphere in Anglo-European modern states consists of a dialectical interplay between reasonable persons and illiberal rogues. Second, under these nonideal circumstances, the ideal of autonomy grounds reasonable persons’ deliberative openness, an attitude of public moral regard for others which is necessary for constructing the terms of political rule. Though deliberative openness is the essential vehicle (...) of construction, reasonable persons only have a pragmatic political obligation to forge ties of deliberative reciprocity with likeminded persons whom they trust will listen and not harm them. Finally, I present Du Bois’s defense of black suffragists’ support of the 19th Amendment to illustrate pragmatic political obligation in action. I sketch successful democratic engagement that reconstitutes a nonideal public sphere. (shrink)
William Abraham studied Philosophy at the University of Ghana, and even more Philosophy at Oxford University. Thereafter, he gained permission to take part in the competitive examination and interview for a fellowship at All Souls' College. The examination was once described, with some exaggeration, as 'the hardest exam in the world!' It included a three-hour essay. Following his success in becoming the first African fellow of All Souls, his interest in African politics quickly developed into a Pan-African perspective. The Mind (...) of Africa, written while he was still at All Souls, was a fruit of that enlarged perspective. After several years as a Fellow, he had occasion to visit Ghana in 1962. There Kwame Nkrumah, then President of Ghana, successfully persuaded him to return to Ghana to teach at the University of Ghana, Legon and he subsequently resigned from All Souls. In 1968, he went to the United States as a visiting professor. This was followed by invitations to teach at various academic institutions there, including Berkeley and Stanford. He subsequently settled in California, where he continued to teach and research philosophy in the University of California at Santa Cruz until his retirement. The Mind of Africa appeared at a time when a number of African countries were obtaining, or fighting for, their political freedom from their colonial rulers and becoming independent nations and expecting to build new societies in accordance with their own visions and conceptions, though not necessarily jettisoning all the features of their colonial heritage. Building new societies requires appropriate ideologies and philosophies fashioned within the crucible of their cultural and historical experiences. Thus, the relation between ideology and society is taken up at the very outset of the book... The Mind of Africa is important for Africa's future and identity. (shrink)
This metaphysical essay opposes all theories which place man's ultimate significance within a totality. The priority of a rupture of the totality is asserted in such phenomena as desire, enjoyment, will, reason, and communication. The reasoning and problems chosen are too often dependent upon a special existential-phenomenological vocabulary.--E. W.