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1. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
William Harwood Ancient Racists, Color-Blindness, and Figs: Why Periodization and Localization Matters for Anti-Racism
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Interrogating received knowledge is constitutive to any critical project, and recently there has been a wave of scholarship which argues for locating the origin of racist-thinking prior to modern Europe—even prior to the Common Era—without any real consideration of the potential dangers accompanying such a seismic redefinition. By expanding “racism” to include potentially any pre-modern xenophobic or ethnicist atrocity, even well-meaning scholarship dilutes the peculiar injustice of modern Europe’s most successful epistemological weapon. As a result, we lose any criteria to distinguish ubiquitous oppressive projects from specifically racist-projects of hegemony and domination. However laudable its intent, such scholarship falls prey to methodological, epistemological, and practical errors that hamstring the ameliorative impact of contemporary anti-racist work while ironically diminishing racism’s impact. For if every conflict is racist, then contemporary colorblindness is correct: if white supremacy isn’t particularly white, then racism is a distinction without a difference.
2. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Sanjay Lal Why Anger?
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In what follows, I question anger’s value for social activism and discourse. I focus on two little discussed aspects of anger. I argue that these aspects reflect problematic philosophical understandings that may be more serious than perhaps most events which are thought to give rise to anger. I will also argue that the functional value of anger is (at best) questionable given the role other, less damaging, human emotions are capable of playing in producing good outcomes. Additionally, I argue that one need not deny the functional value of anger altogether to reject its overall importance for motivating moral action.
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3. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Saraliza Anzaldúa Susto: The Metaphysics of Splitting the Self and Community
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Curanderismo is an Indigenous healing tradition in Chicane communities and throughout Mexico. Using such a lens, this paper analyzes the metaphysical nature of trauma as a splitting (susto) of the self and community. First, this paper explores the Indigenous philosophical principles that form the metaphysics of curanderismo. Second, three reactions to susto will be explored including what Gloria Anzaldua calls the Coyolxauhqui imperative, a re-membering of a split self towards healing. Through the second aim, the third aim of this paper is to lay out a road map of the Coyolxauhqui imperative in hopes that it will save more communities from total annihilation. That road involves integrating traumatic memory and history into a sense of self/community, weaving new relationships, and orienting a new self with a decolonized spirit.
4. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Jeremy Barris Teaching Philosophy as a Way of Life with Respect to Our Being
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What distinguishes philosophy is its attention to reality and sense as such, or what is traditionally called being and essence. As a result, philosophy as a way of life is, most fundamentally, not directly a matter of doing one kind of thing rather than another outside the classroom but instead of how we live with respect to our being. Enacting our being in one way rather than another inflects whatever it is we do. Consequently, even if we only study philosophy in the conventional, apparently unlived way in the classroom, we are in active relation to our being and therefore fully living philosophy as a way of life.
5. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Mark S. Peacock Commodifying the Queue: Michael Sandel and the Politics of Paid Line Standing
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Michael Sandel's critique of commodification is based on two pillars: corruption and fairness. After outlining these concepts, this paper scrutinizes Sandel's analysis of paid line-standing, focusing, in particular, on queues for congressional hearings in the United States. Sandel's corruption objection to commodifying places in queues for these hearings is unsatisfactory, and I develop an alternative account. According to that alternative, the corruption can be overcome by remedying the background conditions of inequality in society. This conclusion contradicts something that Sandel repeatedly claims, namely, that his corruption and fairness critiques of commodification are independent of each other. The corruption critique of paid line-standing for congressional hearings, I argue, has little normative force beyond that of his fairness critique.
6. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Anas Askar, Amin Asfari Who Are the Terrorists? A Disproportionate Response to Muslim Extremism
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This paper argues that the nature of terrorism has remained unchanged despite perceived shifts. Over four decades of data collected in America show that right-wing violence has consistently posed the most pernicious threat. Despite media claims of objectivity and neutrality, we contend that law enforcement and the media targeted the Muslim community while being aware that the real threat emanates from the activities of right-wing groups. Employing Islamophobia as our conceptual framework and critical theory as our philosophical lens, we illuminate the mechanisms of exclusion by highlighting the Eurocentric historical roots of Islamophobia, with particular attention to the United States. Moreover, we expose those who benefit from raising the specter of a 'clash of civilization.' This study examines the disparities between the existing threat of Muslim-based violence and the terror threat of right-wing groups.