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Displaying: 1-10 of 197 documents


1. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 2
Michele M. Moody-Adams Democracy, Identity, and Politics
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Democratic politics is always identity politics and there are some varieties of identity politics without which full and genuine democratic cooperation would not be possible. Indeed, the very existence of a democratic people involves mobilization of political concern and action around a democratic national identity. But a genuinely democratic national identity must be an open identity that can accommodate internal complexity and acknowledge external responsibilities. Moreover, in democracies characterized by a history of discrimination and oppression, there must also be political space for a revitalizing identity politics that initially mobilizes political concern and action around the identities of those groups that have been subject to discrimination and oppression. Yet a revitalizing identity politics is likely to go awry if it is hostile to the possibility of reconciliation between the oppressed and former oppressors, or intrinsically resistant to political collaborations that might transcend the boundaries of familiar social groups.
2. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 2
Naomi Zack Contemporary Claims of Political Injustice: History and the Race to the Bottom
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Injustice theory better serves the oppressed than theories of justice or ideal theory. Humanitarian injustice, political injustice, and legal injustice are distinguished by the rules they violate. Not all who claim political injustice have valid historical grounds, which include past oppression and its legacy. Social class, including culture as well as money, helps explain competing claims of political injustice better than racial identities. Claims of political injustice by the White Mass Recently Politicized (WMRP) are not valid given the history of race relations in the United States. The WMRP’s substitution of white racial identity for class identity may obstruct their opportunities for upward socioeconomic mobility. Their current billionaire leaders are not organic leaders and they stoke racism because it is emotionally useful for getting votes. But too much emphasis on racist history by nonwhites can result in a collective Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that also obstructs progress. The problems of the WMRP may be their own responsibility, in ways still unexplored.
3. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 2
Tommy J. Curry Killing Boogeymen: Phallicism and the Misandric Mischaracterizations of Black Males in Theory
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Black males have been characterized as violent, misogynist, predatory rapists by gender theorists dating back to mid-nineteenth–century ethnologists to contemporary intersectional feminists. These caricatures of Black men and boys are not rooted in any actual studies or empirical findings, but the stereotypes found throughout various racist social scientific literatures that held Black males to be effeminate while nonetheless hyper-masculine and delinquent. This paper argues that contemporary gender theories not only deny the peculiar sexual oppression of racialized outgroup males under patriarchy, but theories like intersectional invisibility actually perpetuates the idea that racialized males are disposable. To remedy the imperceptibility of sexual oppression and violence under the male category, the author gives an historical account of the development of racist (anti-Black) misandry throughout the centuries and proposes a theory of phallicism to describe the seemingly contradictory constructions of Black men as sexually predatory as in the case of the rapist, but nonetheless sexually vulnerable and raped under patriarchy.
4. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 2
Leonard Harris Necro-Being: An Actuarial Account of Racism
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I argue that racism is a form of necro-being entrapped in necro-tragedy. Necro-being, as I present it, is a condition that kills and prevents persons from being born. I defend a conception of tragedy: absolute necrotragedy; absolute irredeemable suffering in a non-moral universe. Explanations of racism are commonly subject to anomalies, for example, volitional accounts offer special desiderata to account for institutional racism; conversely for institutional accounts. I offer a way to see racism, given the existence of a vast array of kinds of racism: a descriptive actuarial approach. The account is intended to avoid the quandaries and anomalies of ‘explanation.’ I use rational-intentional explanations (including accounts by Jorge Garcia and Charles Mills) and social kind racial realism as inadequate explanations and examples of explanations with anomalies. These accounts also help demonstrate that logical systems of racism are inadequate. All such accounts explain racism as a coherent system and offer correlative reasons for its wrongness. I consider death, mortality, morbidity, and irredeemable misery as primary indicators of racism across an array of types of racism globally: racial necro-being.
5. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 2
Tina Fernandes Botts In Black and White: A Hermeneutic Argument against "Transracialism"
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Transracialism, defined as both experiencing oneself as, and being, a race other than the race assigned to one by society, does not exist. Translated into hermeneutics, transracialism is an unintelligible phenomenon in the specific sociocultural context of the United States in the early twenty-first century. Within this context, race is a function of ancestry, and is therefore defined in terms of something that is external to the self and unchangeable. Since transracialism does not exist, the question of whether transracialism would be ethically advisable if it did exist is inapposite. Nonetheless, at a minimum we can say that racial transition (defined as attempting to change one’s race through artificial and/or associative changes, and living life as a race other than the race assigned to one by society, etc.) is possible, but is very likely unethical, since it is the same as racial passing.
6. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 2
Lewis R. Gordon Thinking through Some Themes of Race and More
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This article is a reflective essay, drawing upon insights on racism and related forms of oppression as expressions of bad faith, on several influential movements in contemporary philosophy of race and racism. The author pays particular attention to theories from the global south addressing contemporary debates ranging from Euromodernity, philosophical anthropology, and the racialization of First Nations or Amerindians to intersectionality theory, discourses on privilege, decolonization, and creolization.
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7. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 1
Charles W. Mills Black Radical Kantianism
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This essay tries to develop a “black radical Kantianism”—that is, a Kantianism informed by the black experience in modernity. After looking briefly at socialist and feminist appropriations of Kant, I argue that an analogous black radical appropriation should draw on the distinctive social ontology and view of the state associated with the black radical tradition. In ethics, this would mean working with a (color-conscious rather than colorblind) social ontology of white persons and black sub-persons and then asking what respect for oneself and others would require under those circumstances. In political philosophy, it would mean framing the state as a Rassenstaat (a racial state) and then asking what measures of corrective justice would be necessary to bring about the ideal Rechtsstaat.
8. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 1
Victor Caston Aristotle on the Reality of Colors and Other Perciptible Qualities
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Recent interpreters portray Aristotle as a Protagorean antirealist, who thinks that colors and other perceptibles do not actually exist apart from being perceived. Against this, I defend a more traditional interpretation: colors exist independently of perception, to which they are explanatorily prior, as causal powers that produce perceptions of themselves. They are not to be identified with mere dispositions to affect perceivers, or with grounds distinct from these qualities, picked out by their subjective effect on perceivers (so-called “secondary qualities”). Rather, they are intrinsic qualities of objects, which are in reality just as they appear to be. At the same time, Aristotle rejects any “simple theory of color” according to which the essence and nature of colors is fully revealed in experience. Although the character of perceptibles as they are experienced is “better known to us,” their essence and nature only comes to be known through a correct theory.
9. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 1
Adam Harmer Leibniz on Plurality, Dependence, and Unity
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Leibniz argues that Cartesian extension lacks the unity required to be a substance. A key premise of Leibniz’s argument is that matter is a collection or aggregation. I consider an objection to this premise raised by Leibniz’s correspondent Burchard de Volder and consider a variety of ways that Leibniz might be able to respond to De Volder’s objection. I argue that it is not easy for Leibniz to provide a dialectically relevant response and, further, that the difficulty arises from Leibniz’s commitment to part-whole priority in the case of material wholes, a commitment not shared by De Volder. One major implication is that Leibniz relies on a bottom-up conception of material things, which makes his argument vulnerable to objections stemming from certain types of monist positions.
10. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 1
Joseph Anderson, Daniel Collette Wagering with and without Pascal
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Pascal’s wager has received the attention of philosophers for centuries. Most of its criticisms arise from how the wager is often framed. We present Pascal’s wager three ways: in isolation from any further apologetic arguments, as leading toward a regimen intended to produce belief, and finally embedded in a larger apology that includes evidence for Christianity. We find that none of the common objections apply when the wager is presented as part of Pascal’s larger project. Pascal’s wager is a successful argument in its proper place. However, the most interesting features of our first two presentations of the wager turn out to be either irrelevant or missing from our reading: infinite utility and the relativity of evidence. The successful wager is a boring wager. Still, this study shows us how the wager might profitably be incorporated into different apologetic contexts and why it often can’t.