Philosophy of Race through Comedy

[Editor’s Note: This post is a follow-up on some of the discussion near the end of ep. 52.] I have often found that great comedy can be deeply philosophical. Wittgenstein once said that one could write a substantial work of philosophy consisting only of jokes. This is certainly true when it comes to philosophy of […]

America’s Epidemic of Enlightened Racism

John Derbyshire has been fired from the National Review for an openly racist column on how white people should advise their children with respect to “blacks”: for the most part, avoid them. Because on the whole, they are unintelligent, antisocial, hostile, and dangerous. Or as he puts it, avoid “concentrations of blacks” or places “swamped with […]

Racism Among Historic Philosophers

As mentioned on the race episode, I thumbed through a book edited by Andrew Valls called Race and Racism in Modern Philosophy,which includes essays on Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Mill, Marx, and Nietzsche. To give Valls’s words on the last of these, since I mentioned it in the discussion: […]

Is It Really Philosophy? (Are You an Ass for Asking?)

In this post brought to my attention by our commenter DMF in light of our race episode, Kristie Dotson of Michigan State University attacks the question that one might ask when reading DuBois, for instance: Is this really philosophy? The question, how is this paper philosophy, is a poorly formulated question. At best, when asked […]

Stokely Carmichael’s Sartrean Influences

One of the names dropped during the Race and Philosophy episode was that of Stokely Carmichael. Below is a famous recording of one Carmichael’s “Black Power” speeches, given after Carmichael was appointed Chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, or SNCC: Watch on YouTube.

More Things to Read Regarding Race and Philosophy

Political philosophy through the prism of Black-American thinkers: Tommie Shelby is a distinguished professor of philosophy at Harvard university. In this text, he examines the political thought of black thinkers to arrive at a philosophical articulation of black solidarity. This is a great text to examine if one is interested in understanding black philosophical thinking […]

Episode 52: Philosophy and Race (DuBois, Martin Luther King, Cornel West)

W.E.B. DuBois

On W.E.B. DuBois’s “Of Our Spiritual Strivings” (1903), Cornel West’s “A Genealogy of Modern Racism” (1982), and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” (1963) and “The Black Power Defined” (1967), plus Malcolm X’s “The Black Revolution” (1963). With guest Lawrence Ware. Learn more.

End song: “Bankrupt” by The MayTricks, from Happy Songs Will Bring You Down (1994)

Topic for #52: Philosophy and Race (DuBois, MLK, Cornel West)

We PELers spent black history month actually reading black history, and on 2/28/12 spoke with Law Ware of Oklahoma State University about philosophy and race. Is there a philosophically viable concept of race at all? What are the potential sources of past and current oppression, and what general strategies seem promising to deal with them? […]