George Yancy interviews Linda Martin Alcoff on Philosophy’s Lost Body and Soul.
If we were to acknowledge the relevance of identity to knowledge, the solution would not be simplistic diversity quotas, but a real engagement with the question of how our unspoken epistemic hierarchies have distorted our educational institutions, research projects, academic and scientific fields of inquiry and general public discourse across all of our diverse forms of media. And then we could pursue a thorough attempt at solutions. Philosophers working in many domains — concerning epistemology, the social ontology of identity, moral psychology, the philosophy of science and others — could contribute to these efforts, but philosophy must first direct such efforts internally.
George Yancy interviews Falguni Sheth on How Liberalism and Racism are Wed.
Through such experiences, I have come to understand identity not as racial, but racialized, through populations’ relations, and vulnerability, to the state, which also is the basis of my book. The political framework of liberalism, which promises equality and universal protection for “all,” depends on people to believe those promises, so that racial discrimination, brutality, violence, dehumanization, can be written off as accidental, incidental, a problem with the application of liberal theory rather than part of the deep structure of liberalism.
And that’s just February! Fits well with what Alcoff says below.
But what I would also say to young philosophers is that this is actually a great time to join the discipline. We have the beginnings of a critical mass, a beachhead, with multiple conferences now each year, several organizations such as the Society for the Study of Africana Philosophy, the Caribbean Philosophical Association and the California Roundtable on Race. There is a new journal, Critical Philosophy of Race, as well as some receptivity in existing journals. And there is a growing community of frankly rather brilliant people busily working to advance our collective understanding of race, racism and colonialism. Also, there are many students in undergraduate classrooms receptive to these questions. The margins are flourishing and growing. In this sense, it is a positive moment.