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41. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 1
Lisa Guenther Orcid-ID

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In “Criminal Empire,” Ojibwe scholar Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark argues that the criminalization of Indigenous resistance to colonization “averts attention” from the criminality of democratic settler states, which fail or refuse to honor their own legal agreements with Indigenous peoples. This chapter reflects on the implications of Stark’s analysis for the relation between property, dispossession, and liberal democratic state violence. From this perspective, the prison appears not as a correctional institution for individual lawbreakers, but as a spatial strategy for the imposition and enforcement of a colonial legal order and a capitalist property regime. The challenge of decolonization, then, is not just to return stolen land to Indigenous peoples, but also to dismantle the structures of propertied personhood and dispossession that the settler democracy (re)produces through the prison system.
42. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 1
Ashley J. Bohrer Orcid-ID

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In Walter Benjamin’s pivotal essay “Toward the Critique of Violence,” the state emerges as an originary site of violence, and the police figure as a key institution that makes possible both law-preserving and law-founding violence. I argue that Benjamin offers a unique and clarifying understanding of violence that can help make sense of twenty-first century calls for police and prison abolition. At the same time, Benjamin critiques several leftist attempts to combat state violence—such as the workplace strike and leftist reformism—finding in them a reformulation of the very violence they seek to combat. I argue that many of these critiques could be equally levied at some manifestations of the contemporary abolitionist movement. This paper concludes by distilling some of Benjamin’s insights about the propensity to reflect the violence we attempt to contest into some lessons for contemporary activism and social movements.
43. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 1
Tempest M. Henning

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In light of the January 6, 2021, insurrection on the Capitol, this article considers the Second Amendment as an example of how Black women are quasi-citizens within the United States. I focus on the Second Amendment to not only give an account of the historical and contemporary ways guns are used to terrorize Black women but to also show the jeopardization possessing and carrying firearms pose to Black women in both individuated and systemic cases. By turning to the Second Amendment, Black women’s status as citizens illuminates a liminal space where they are simultaneously inside the category of citizens but functionally excluded. Given the unjust foundations of the Second Amendment, I view Black women brandishing firearms as possibly an act of civil disobedience.
44. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 1
Adam Burgos Orcid-ID

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This essay examines the relationship between African American internal colonialism and democracy, highlighting the complexities of democracy that make it both susceptible to oppressive violence at home and abroad, as well as a potential resource for emancipation and equality. I understand “internal colonialism” here to encompass various terms used by African Americans beginning in the 1830s, including semi-colonialism, domestic colonialism, and a nation within a nation. Much political philosophy assumes that society is “nearly just” or “generally just,” or that oppression and injustice are found in societies that we nonetheless deem legitimate. Centering the complexities and possibilities of democracy instead shifts the focus to how democracy is compatible with violence and injustice, as well as their overcoming. Such a focus leads to a consideration of abolition democracy and the question of what the process of overcoming internal colonialism demands.
45. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 1
Jasper St. Bernard, Orcid-ID Verena Erlenbusch-Anderson Orcid-ID

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Recent scholarship on fascism has largely centered on identifying the defining features of fascism to determine whether political figures and parties are fascist. These debates take European fascism as paradigmatic, thereby obscuring alternative traditions of antifascist theorizing that can shed new light on the contemporary ascendancy of fascism in the United States and elsewhere. This paper examines one such alternative in the antifascist thought and praxis of the Black Panther Party. Against the widespread claim that fascism could not happen in the United States, the Black Panther Party insisted that the United States had its own forms of fascism. We reconstruct the Panther’s concept of fascism as the generalization of racialized exclusion constitutive of American democracy and explore the antifascist practices to which this definition gave rise.
46. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 1
Sebastian Ramirez

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The belief that White people are targeted victims of dispossession, displacement, and genocide has spread with shocking intensity since Donald Trump’s 2016 electoral college victory. Although this Great Replacement myth may seem absurd and irrational, its destructive real-world consequences force the question: what explains its efficacy and appeal? Drawing on White nationalists Greg Johnson and Tucker Carlson, I argue that the Great Replacement myth functions as an explanation for the real socioeconomic decline that has culminated in deaths of despair. I then explore this decline’s sociohistorical context to argue that deaths of despair are consequences of political-economic domination reinforced by White supremacy. Put otherwise, these deaths result from socioeconomic violence that White people have inflicted on each other. I conclude that the real problem “the White race” faces today is not a Great Replacement but a Slow White Suicide.
47. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 1
Eric Ritter Orcid-ID

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The United States, alongside other Western democracies, is in search of a usable past. Collective memory in the United States has persistently distorted or whitewashed its past, resulting in a distinct kind of (socially sanctioned) ignorance of the present. Collective memory reconstruction can thus be understood as “epistemic activism,” targeting an “epistemology of ignorance,” borrowing and expanding key concepts from the work of Charles Mills and José Medina. In this article I begin to defend an ethical practice of collective memory reconstruction as epistemic activism. I first outline a qualified understanding of “collective memory” that survives philosophical skepticism. I then draw on Paul Ricœur’s critical phenomenology of abuses of memory and analyze collective memory distortions of the US Civil War and the US struggle for civil rights. I suggest that a reconstructed democratic collective memory will be a set of plural and dynamic collective memories, rather than a homogeneous and static memory. I end by outlining some consequences that follow from this conclusion.
48. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 1
Sabeen Ahmed, Orcid-ID Adam Burgos, Orcid-ID George Fourlas, John Harfouch

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The following conversation examines the role of the university in our present moment and examines the necessity of anti-colonial praxis in the academy. The dialogue takes as its starting point the long history of white, heteropatriarchal capitalist supremacy that has oriented the institutional production of knowledge and considers its present permutations in such practices as diversity initiatives in teaching and hiring. The discussants in turn reflect on their own approaches and strategies for enacting liberatory pedagogy in light of the contingent, historical, and material limitations of higher education today.

book reviews

49. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 1
Bradley Ramos

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50. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 1
Emily Zakin

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51. Philosophy Today: Volume > 66 > Issue: 4
Niels Wilde Orcid-ID

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In this article, I examine the possible link between Nietzsche’s philosophy of the will to power and the new movement in continental philosophy known as speculative realism. Nietzsche is never invoked as a possible (re)source in the war against anti-realism, nor is he identified as a leading officer behind enemy lines but remains in the neutral zone. Although Meillassoux does seem to place Nietzsche in the camp of anti-realists, he is not the main target but only mentioned in a passing remark. In this article, I interpret Nietzsche into the framework of speculative realism and argue that he can be said to occupy a position in-between Graham Harman’s object-oriented ontology and Meillassoux’s speculative materialism.
52. Philosophy Today: Volume > 66 > Issue: 4
Drew M. Dalton

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Much has been made of the so-called “empirical turn” of “speculative materialism” with thinkers like Quentin Meillassoux championing the material sciences as a new route to absolute reality. According to Meillassoux, the material sciences “provide philosophers access once again to the great outdoors, the absolute outside,” of reality in-itself. One might expect from such encomia the attempt to engage with the products of contemporary science in order to develop a new metaphysics; but, Meillassoux spends almost no time in this way, focusing instead on the form and methods of the material sciences over their actual accomplishments. As a result, his praise rings hollow and his metaphysics remains undeveloped. This paper examines what would happen if we were to take seriously his claims that a new metaphysics be developed from a scientific accounting of material reality by surveying the conclusions of contemporary physics. The paper ends by contrasting such a new speculative and materialistic metaphysics with the speculative nihilism of Ray Brassier.
53. Philosophy Today: Volume > 66 > Issue: 4
Donald Mark C. Ude Orcid-ID

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The sense of interconnectedness is perhaps one of the most celebrated features of African thought. It has been theorized under different philosophical idioms among African philosophers. It has appeared variously as African metaphysics, ontology, socialism and even religion—all in a bid to underline the basic idea that aspects of reality are inextricably interconnected and mutually impact one another in a seemingly universal web of interaction. While each of the idioms used to express this idea has some merits, the article privileges the epistemic idiom. To support this move, I make two mutually reinforcing arguments. First, it is appropriate to describe the sense of interconnectedness in epistemic terms because it is primarily a mode of knowing/perceiving the world. Second, and more importantly, the epistemic idiom is useful for the formulation of emancipatory demands and formation of epistemic alliances against the subjugation of African and non-Western knowledges by mechanisms of coloniality.
54. Philosophy Today: Volume > 66 > Issue: 4
Sarah E. Vitale

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Work defines the lives of most people. Many people work overtime, work second jobs, or bring work home with them. It is often difficult to know when work stops and the rest of life begins. In a culture where work is central to our identities, good work is increasingly difficult to find. This article argues that one of the impediments to imagining a future beyond work is the productivist logic that predominates today, which determines labor and production to be key activities and values. To sketch a path beyond work, the author turns to Marx, arguing that Marx provides an important critique of productivism and gestures toward a postwork future in his own writings. To do so, the author defends Marx against critiques of productivism.
55. Philosophy Today: Volume > 66 > Issue: 4
Kyle Novak

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Rosi Braidotti has recently argued that the emerging scholarship on posthumanism should employ what she calls nomadic thinking. Braidotti identifies Gilles Deleuze’s work on Spinoza as the genesis of posthumanist ontology, yet Deleuze’s claims about nomadic thinking or nomadology come from his work on Leibniz. I argue that for posthumanist thought to theorize subjectivity beyond the human, it must use nomadology to overcome ontology itself. To make my argument, I demonstrate that while Braidotti is correct about Spinoza’s influence on Deleuze, his work on Leibniz is necessary to adequately conceptualize nomadology. I employ Deleuze and Guattari’s figure of the Thought-brain as a model for conceptualizing posthumanist subjectivity that they claim goes beyond the subject itself.
56. Philosophy Today: Volume > 66 > Issue: 4
Massimiliano Simons Orcid-ID

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In his 2018 essay Down to Earth, the French philosopher Bruno Latour proposes a hypothesis that connects a number of contemporary issues, ranging from climate denialism to deregulation and growing inequality. While his hypothesis, namely that the elites act as if they live in another world and are leaving the rest of the world behind, might seem like a conspiracy theory, I will argue that there is a way to make sense of it. To do so, I will turn to two other authors, Timothy Mitchell and Shoshana Zuboff, to highlight the kind of logic that Latour seems to have in mind. In the final section, I will propose to capture the commonalities of these authors through the concept of shifting reciprocities and will return to Latour’s political plea to define one’s territories, reinterpreted as reciprocities.
57. Philosophy Today: Volume > 66 > Issue: 4
József Kollár, Dávid Kollár Orcid-ID

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In our article, we argue, following Nelson Goodman and Arthur Danto, that in contrast to the essentialist conception of authenticity, it is more fertile to consider authentic patterns not as the inner core of the person, but as a case of metaphorical exemplification. According to our approach, if we accept that authentic style is a metaphorical exemplification, then, based on Richard Rorty’s concepts of language and metaphor, style can be seen as an exaptation or reuse of symbols previously adapted through cultural selection to other specific functions. To support this approach, we proceed as follows. First, using Goodman’s and Danto’s model, we argue that authentic style can best be grasped through metaphorical exemplification. We then show that the metaphorical use of linguistic, pictorial, and other symbols is the result of exaptation. According to our results, the authentic style is the exaptation of symbols previously adapted to culturally selected functions. We then separate authenticity from creativity through the concepts of style and manner—borrowed from Danto—and we point out that whether a particular symbol is authentic or not is not affected by whether creative or mechanical mental processes are responsible for its creation. Finally, we examine the relationship between authenticity and autonomy, and we show that in an environment that promotes autonomous decisions and authentic style, agents that originally generated inauthentic symbols may be able to produce authentic ones.
58. Philosophy Today: Volume > 66 > Issue: 4
Andrew Song Orcid-ID

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This article advances a close reading of Hannah Arendt’s use of the phrase amo: volo ut sis in her posthumously published lecture “Willing.” Through this close reading, the essay argues that this affirmation of love, which Arendt translates as “I love you, I want you to be,” describes an enduring activity by which we unite our minds to the world. This argument is analyzed formally and practically: the formal aspect addresses love as an activity which has its end in itself and the practical aspect enumerates the binding character of love. To clarify these aspects, the article will focus on the sections on Augustine and Duns Scotus, requiring, also, a closer look at Arendt’s theological methodology.
59. Philosophy Today: Volume > 66 > Issue: 4
Madeleine Shield Orcid-ID

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For many philosophers, there is a tension inherent to shame as an inward-looking, yet intersubjective, emotion: that between the role of the ashamed self and the part of the shaming Other in pronouncing the judgement of shame. Simply put, the issue is this: either the perspective of the ashamed self takes precedence in autonomously choosing to feel shame, and the necessary role of the audience is overlooked, or else the view of the shaming Other prevails in heteronomously casting the shame, and the ashamed individual’s agency becomes problematically understated. I argue that this debate is fundamentally misguided insofar as it assumes that shame must be exclusively contingent upon either the perspective of the self or that of the Other, when it is in fact dependent upon both at once. This is the “double movement” of shame: an appraisal of the self that is at once social and private.

the sheehan-faye debate, continued

60. Philosophy Today: Volume > 66 > Issue: 4
Peg Birmingham, Ian Alexander Moore

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