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Res Philosophica

Volume 95, Issue 2, April 2018
Special Conference Issue: Race and Gender

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Displaying: 1-6 of 6 documents


1. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 2
Michele M. Moody-Adams

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.