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Philosophy Today

Volume 67, Issue 4, Fall 2023
The Intersection of Black Studies and Continental Philosophy

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Displaying: 1-18 of 18 documents

the intersection of black studies and continental philosophy
1. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 4
Jesús Luzardo, Tyrone S. Palmer Impasse: Black Critical Theory / Continental Philosophy
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2. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 4
Eyo Ewara Anti-Racism and Releasement: Anti-Blackness, Thinking, and the Provocation of Gelassenheit
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This paper explores the selective uptake of Martin Heidegger’s work in critical philosophy of race and in black studies. While scholars have drawn from Heidegger’s thinking on technology to offer accounts of the technological production of race in general and of blackness in particular, few have engaged with Heidegger’s response to technology: his discussions of Gelassenheit or “releasement.” This paper analyzes this avoidance of Gelassenheit, arguing that its interpretation as passivity points to broader anxieties about the need to act that are symptomatic of Heidegger’s account of technology itself. These anxieties lead to a potentially damaging tacit prioritization of action at the expense of thought, and a reduction of black people to their value as actors or workers, even among thinkers like Saidiya Hartman who valorize a resistant waywardness.
3. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 4
Selamawit Terrefe Death Rattle, not Dashikis: Nikki Giovanni’s Black Judgement Meets Hannah Arendt
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“Death Rattle, not Dashikis: Nikki Giovanni’s Black Judgement Meets Hannah Arendt” presents a critical interdisciplinary perspective on racial formation and modern political thought. Deploying blackness as a principle that simultaneously animates and interrupts the logic of Western political and philosophical thought, the essay contends that the construction of blackness is central to the discursive violence imposed by Western political theory and metaphysics. It argues that the “death rattle” emerging from Giovanni’s Black revolutionary poiesis bears no distinction between creating, knowing, and doing—poiesis, theoria, and praxis. Rather, it calls for the destruction of the theoretical principles organizing the world of its (non)being. In other words, the aporia of Black revolutionary poiesis is its politics. Accordingly, this paper examines what is at stake politically, poetically, and philosophically when modern antiblackness becomes critically foregrounded as a suppressed and hitherto mostly invisible parameter of modern thought.
4. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 4
Jerome Clarke Politics after Slavery?: On Afropessimism’s Practical Philosophy
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Afropessimism incites controversy within and without the academy for the provocation that modernity’s ethical life, including its purportedly progressive facets, is entirely undergirded by a rejection of blackness. On this basis it squares a self-concept as a non-prescriptive theoretical framework with a negative prescription of “world-abolition.” I reconstruct Afropessimism’s conceptual apparatus in light of its criticism in academic philosophy. I then relate the theory’s negativism with Theodor Adorno’s view that “in wrong life there is no right life,” to argue that Afropessimists should take up the implication that there is no right thinking.
5. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 4
Taija Mars McDougall Surpassed, Outstripped
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Since the publication of Black Skin,White Masks, questions of blackness have invoked the problem as being related to time and temporality. Afropessimism has placed this temporal problem at the core of its endeavor. This paper takes that intuition as a means to interrogate and deepen Frank B. Wilderson III’s claim that black time is without narrative capacity or coordinates. Black time is thus one in which the movement of time is uncontestable. Moving through Patterson’s concept of natal alienation and then Heidegger and Derrida on Death and givenness, Wilderson’s argument can be substantiated. Specifically, if we understand black time as being nonauthentic rather than contained within Heidegger’s authenticity/inauthenticity constellation, and essentially bound up with an interminable and unsettled life debt that racial slavery entailed, there is a means to unfold Wilderson’s claim and approach the notion that what blackness gives is time.
6. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 4
Tapji Garba On Materialism, Freedom, and Self-Consciousness
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As a problem for thought, racial slavery is seated at the intersection of moral philosophy and philosophy of nature where the figure of the slave, a being who is wholly determined by external forces, serves as the negative measure of the capacity to make ethical judgments beyond one’s own private inclinations or exercise self-restraint for the sake of the common good. Recent theoretical interventions into our political-ecological predicament tend to split when it comes to the modern autonomous subject. This essay engages with contemporary theorizing on matters of materialism, freedom, and self-consciousness as they relate to our current predicament and to racial slavery and its system of classification.
7. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 4
John Gillespie Jr. Consent Not to Be a (Human) Being: A Black Anti-philosophy of Science
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This essay produces a paradigmatic analysis of anti-Blackness from within the history and philosophy of biology in order to explore Frantz Fanon’s concept of ontological resistance. Through developing Sylvia Wynter’s notion of the Darwinian Imaginary alongside an Afropessimist paradigmatic analysis, the paper argues that scientific humanism’s claim that the Black is “the ostensible missing link between rational humans and irrational animals” (Wynter 2003: 266) is a form of metaphysical violence that the Black cannot ontologically resist. This heretical reading of three canonical figures in Western bioscience—Carl Linnaeus, George Cuvier, and Charles Darwin—is an attempt to synthesize Wynter’s demonic ground and Wilderson’s grammatology in order to develop a Black anti-philosophy of science that thinks antagonistically about what it means to be “the missing link” in the chain of Human being.
8. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 4
Ziyana Lategan An Old Materialism for a New Ground
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This article is an investigation into the concept of “ground” in modern Western philosophy. I begin with a rehearsal of Fanon’s critique of Hegel’s Lord-Bondsman dialectic (that there is no common ground for white and black) as the starting point for this investigation. Despite its best efforts, the Western canon is shown to have a commitment to its transcendental turn and cannot rid itself of its idealist impulse insofar as it must establish a ground from which to begin. In so doing, Western theory cannot reckon with those historical processes that institute modern thought (i.e., primitive accumulation, slavery, colonialism, etc.), precisely because of its reliance on them. As such, it fails to privilege a historical materialist turn that would situate both the self-determined subject and the affectable “others” on a common ground, as insisted on by Denise Ferreira da Silva. By arguing for a materialist conception of an ontoepistemological ground based on necessity rather than freedom, I make a case for a politics of non-participation and revolutionary action as modes of political practice that make possible a dialectical and historical intervention into the structure of the global modern.
9. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 4
Sean Capener Every Man Has His Price: Money and Slavery in Immanuel Kant’s Doctrine of Right
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Immanuel Kant’s moral philosophy is organized around an exclusive disjunction of dignity or price, equality or equivalence. In his 1797 Doctrine of Right, however, Kant places enslaved black people on the wrong side of this disjunction when he speculates that their status as currency may offer insight into the origins of money. Recent work in black studies has begun to speculate on the link between blackness and money in modernity, and this paper draws attention to Kant’s role as an unlikely and unwitting precursor for monetary theories of blackness. Precisely in his attempt to secure the priceless and unconditional character of freedom and dignity, it argues, Kant ends up demonstrating the positional value of both.
10. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 4
Leah A. Kaplan What’s in a Mark? Or, Black Time and the Hieroglyphics of the Flesh
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In “Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe: An American Grammar Book,” Hortense Spillers draws a parallel between the discursive and material field of violence that assisted in the production of the captive body. She asks: “We might well ask if this phenomenon of marking and branding actually ‘transfers’ from one generation to another, finding its various symbolic substitutions in an efficacy of meanings that repeat the initiating moments?” In response to her inquiry, this paper presents a theory of “transfer” of hieroglyphics from one generation to another through a semiological reading of language and myth. This theory of “transfer” will ultimately argue that because language must be iterable, and thus communicable in different contexts, black time is structured by both continuity and severe disjunctures that perform a series of symbolic substitutions for use outside of their initiating moments.
11. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 4
David Marriott Corpus Exanime
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This essay suggests that to read black art the viewer is obliged to read what is not there. What does this paradoxical statement imply? First, it implies that every black image is a caricature—a refusal—of the blackness of its concept; and to that extent what we see as black is no longer readable or seeable as image (or Dasein). Secondly, taking as my example the singular relation between pain and image in the artwork of Donald Rodney, and in particular the notion of a corpus exanime, I examine the implications of this notion for the traditions of art, philosophy, and aesthetics more generally.
book discussion
12. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 4
Veronica Gago, Paula Landerreche Cardillo “We cannot fight against one form of oppression without fighting against them all at the same time”: Interview with Italian Philosopher Chiara Bottici, author of Anarchafeminism
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13. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 4
Mary LeBlanc Singularity, Individuality, and Transindividuality in Chiara Bottici’s Anarchafeminism
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14. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 4
Eyo Ewara Agon, Ethics, and Anarchafeminism: Comments on Chiara Bottici’s Anarchafeminism
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15. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 4
Penelope Deutscher The Birth of Geneapolitics: Comments on Chiara Bottici’s Anarchafeminism
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16. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 4
Chiara Bottici Debating Anarchafeminism: A Reply
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book reviews
17. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 4
Zhen Liang Franklin Perkins, Doing What You Really Want: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Mengzi
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18. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 4
Thassilo Polcik Tobias Heinze and Martin Mettin, eds., Review of „Denn das Wahre ist das Ganze nicht . . .“ Beiträge zur negativen Anthropologie Ulrich Sonnemanns
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