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Radical Philosophy Review

Volume 1, Issue 2, 1998

Radicalism at the Century's End and the Dawn of the New Millenium

Charles Verharen
Pages 89-97

An Ethics of Intimacy
Race and Moral Obligation

The author criticizes efforts to resuscitate W. E. B. Du Bois’s claim that people of African descent have a special obligation to each other premised on race. He concludes that Africana philosophers such as Du Bois, Alain Locke, and Lucius Outlaw do not claim to possess essential knowledge of the human condition but instead propose a story human beings can tell about what they’re doing with their lives. Their story exerts imperative force only when they can convince themselves that it is a better story than all the others they have inherited.

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