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Displaying: 1-20 of 225 documents

1. The Harvard Review of Philosophy: Volume > 26
Richard P. Wang Introduction
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2. The Harvard Review of Philosophy: Volume > 26
Tommie Shelby Thinking about Race, Responding to Racial Inequality
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3. The Harvard Review of Philosophy: Volume > 26
Elizabeth Anderson, Tadhg Larabee, Nicholas Brown Elizabeth Anderson Interview for The Harvard Review of Philosophy
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4. The Harvard Review of Philosophy: Volume > 26
Paul C. Taylor The Influence of Dewey on Race Theory
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I once planned to write an essay detailing the advantages of a Deweyan approach to philosophical race theory. This essay would have developed my views in a way that highlighted their distinctly Deweyan resonances and debts. A recent essay by Ron Mallon gave me the opportunity to set this plan in motion, as Mallon’s reflections on social constructionism seemed likely to benefit from Deweyan insights. Unfortunately, or fortunately, setting to work on the project led to the distressing but edifying realization that this plan carried with it certain risks, risks made particularly dire by the race-theoretic context. “The Influence of Dewey on Race Theory” will credit this background with an argument that unfolds in two intertwined registers. It will interrogate (and resist) the impulse to work through Dewey, and it will use the lessons from this exercise—lessons, broadly, about parochialism and politics—as resources for critically engaging Mallon’s argument.
5. The Harvard Review of Philosophy: Volume > 26
Lawrence Blum Reflections on Brown vs. Board of Education and School Integration Today
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The Brown vs. Board of Education decision of 1954 mandated school integration. The decision also to recognize that inequalities outside the schools, of both a class- and race-based nature, prevent equality in education. Today, the most prominent argument for integration is that disadvantaged students benefit from the financial, social, and cultural “capital” of middle class families when the children attend the same schools. This argument fails to recognize that disadvantaged students contribute to advantaged students’ educational growth, and sends demeaning messages to the disadvantaged students and messages of unwarranted superiority to the advantaged. Parents, teachers, and schools can adopt a justice perspective that avoids these deleterious aspects of the capital argument, and helps create a community of equals inside the integrated school. Struggles for educational justice must remain closely linked with struggles of both a class- and race-based nature for other forms of justice in the wider society.
6. The Harvard Review of Philosophy: Volume > 26
Frank J. Costa The Restorative Proportionality Theory: A New Approach to Affirmative Action
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This article offers a normative framework for affirmative action. It argues that affirmative action is not about diversity, but correcting historical injustice. The theory’s presumption is that racial groups would perform equally if not for history, because talent and hard work do not vary by race. The article explores the implications of that premise in answering the most provocative criticisms of affirmative action. Should white students pay for historical wrongs? Should African immigrants benefit from affirmative action? Are Asian Americans unfairly disadvantaged? The article proposes proportional representation as a limiting principle of affirmative action, because preferential treatment beyond proportionality contradicts the theory’s presumption of equal performance. The article proceeds to argue that some groups, like Asian Americans, rebut the presumption by fairly outperforming others and should not be penalized. Finally, the article argues that groups should not be classified on race per se, rather on a shared experience of injustice.
7. The Harvard Review of Philosophy: Volume > 26
Naomi Zack Intersection Theory as Progressive: Philosophy of Race, Feminism, and Antisemitism
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Many are already familiar with the idea of intersectionality. Intersection Theory can be conceived as encompassing other progressive theories, such as Philosophy of Race and Feminism. In Philosophy of Race, the ultimate explanatory concept is race; in Feminism, the ultimate explanatory term is gender. This discrepancy has given rise to Black Feminism. Intersection Theory can also be contextualized and expanded to include more detailed intersections when there is inequality within intersected groups. But, intersectionality does not yet address unpredictable violence, either against blacks or normally advantaged groups, such as United States Jews. For such cases, it is useful to posit a new intersectional factor of regressive violence, to account for counter-revolutionary response to decades of progress for minorities. Overall, the flexibility of Intersection Theory allows for creative analysis. However, not all intersections yield politically viable identities and those that would might require governmental recognition of group rights.
8. The Harvard Review of Philosophy: Volume > 26
Michael O. Hardimon Four Ways of Thinking about Race
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This essay presents four ways of thinking about race. They consist of four related but distinct race concepts: the racialist concept of race, which is the traditional, pernicious, essentialist, and hierarchical concept of race; the concept of socialrace, which is the antiracist concept of race as a social construction; the minimalist concept of race, which is the deflationary concept of biological race that represents race as a matter of color, shape and geographical ancestry; and the populationist concept of race, the race concept that represents races as populations, deriving from geographically separated and reproductive isolated founding populations. Taken together, the four concepts can help us better navigate our way through the murky conceptual domain of “race.”
9. The Harvard Review of Philosophy: Volume > 26
J. L. A. Garcia Race as a Social Construction: Some Difficulties
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This paper raises serious problems for the commonly held claim that races are socially constructed. The first section sketches out an approach to our construction of institutional phenomena that, taking Searle’s general approach, restricts social construction proper to cases where we adopt rules that bind relevant parties to treat things of a type in certain ways, thus constituting important roles in, and parts of, our social lives. I argue this conception, construction-by-rules, helps distinguish genuine construction from other activities and relations and also solves a problem raised against simplistic conceptions. The second shows why and how Sally Haslanger, Linda Alcoff, and Glenn Loury have explained race as a social construct. The next points out problems for their and other accounts, including circularity, difficulties arising from conceptual and linguistic history, and non sequiturs. After returning to Haslanger in more detail, I proceed critically to engage work by Ian Hacking, Lawrence Blum, Luc Faucher and Edouard Machery, and Charles Mills. The following sections move from specific accounts in the literature to offer general arguments that viewing races as products of social construction threatens to mislead in numerous ways. At the end, I discuss the significance of the issue and challenge whether social constructionist accounts are genuinely liberating.
10. The Harvard Review of Philosophy: Volume > 26
Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther A Beginner’s Guide to the New Population Genomics of Homo sapiens: Origins, Race, and Medicine
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It is important to understand the science underlying philosophical debates. In particular, careful reflection is needed on the scientific study of the origins of Homo sapiens, the division of current human populations into ethnicities, populations, or races, and the potential impact of genomics on personalized medicine. Genomic approaches to the origins and divisions of our species are among the most multi-dimensional areas of contemporary science, combining mathematical modeling, computer science, medicine, bioethics, and philosophy of biology. The best evidence suggests that we are a young species, with a cradle in Africa. While prejudice, misunderstanding, and violence grow in many corners of the world, our best genomic science suggests a deep biological connection among all peoples.
11. The Harvard Review of Philosophy: Volume > 25
Lynnea Shuck, Jonathan Perez-Reyzin Editors' Introduction
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12. The Harvard Review of Philosophy: Volume > 25
Christine M. Korsgaard Animals: Ethics, Agency, Culture: Introduction
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ethics i
13. The Harvard Review of Philosophy: Volume > 25
Clare Palmer Should We Offer Assistance to Both Wild and Domesticated Animals?
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In this paper, I consider whether we should offer assistance to both wild and domesticated animals when they are suffering. I argue that we may have different obligations to assist wild and domesticated animals because they have different morally-relevant relationships with us. I explain how different approaches to animal ethics, which, for simplicity, I call capacity-oriented and context-oriented, address questions about animal assistance differently. I then defend a broadly context-oriented approach, on which we have special obligations to assist animals that we have made vulnerable to or dependent on us. This means that we should normally help suffering domesticated animals, but that we lack general obligations to assist wild animals, since we are not responsible for their vulnerability. However, we may have special obligations to help wild animals where we have made them vulnerable to or dependent on us (by habitat destruction or by captivity, for instance). I consider some obvious difficulties with this context-oriented approach, and I conclude by looking more closely at the question whether we should intervene, if we could do so successfully, to reduce wild animal suffering by reducing predation.
14. The Harvard Review of Philosophy: Volume > 25
Alan Wayne, Lori Gruen Entangled Empathy: An Interview with Lori Gruen
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15. The Harvard Review of Philosophy: Volume > 25
Michael Allen Fox The Ideology of Meat-Eating
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A network of beliefs and values (an ideology) underlies much of our behavior. While meat-eaters may not acknowledge that they have an ideology, I argue that they do by attempting to identify and deconstruct its elements. I also include numerous historical and philosophical observations about the origins of meat-eaters’ ideology. Explaining and examining ideologies may encourage discussion about a particular area of life (for example, dietary choice) and stimulate change in relation to it. Both adherents to vegetarian/vegan approaches and meat-eaters who wish to become less dependent on animal food sources (for ethical and environmental reasons) can benefit from the broader understanding that such an analysis provides.
16. The Harvard Review of Philosophy: Volume > 25
Jeff Sebo The Moral Problem of Other Minds
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In this paper I ask how we should treat other beings in cases of uncertainty about sentience. I evaluate three options: (1) an incautionary principle that permits us to treat other beings as non-sentient, (2) a precautionary principle that requires us to treat other beings as sentient, and (3) an expected value principle that requires us to multiply our subjective probability that other beings are sentient by the amount of moral value they would have if they were. I then draw three conclusions. First, the precautionary and expected value principles are more plausible than the incautionary principle. Second, if we accept a precautionary or expected value principle, then we morally ought to treat many beings as having at least partial moral status. Third, if we morally ought to treat many beings as having at least partial moral status, then morality involves more cluelessness and demandingness than we might have thought.
animals' minds
17. The Harvard Review of Philosophy: Volume > 25
Catherine Wilson Consciousness as a Biological Phenomenon: An Alternative to Panpsychism
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Reversing centuries of methodological caution and skepticism, philosophers have begun to explore the possibility that experience in some form is widely distributed in the universe. It has been proposed that consciousness may pertain to machines, rocks, elementary particles, and perhaps the universe itself. This paper shows why philosophers have good reason to suppose that experiences are widely distributed in living nature, including worms and insects, but why panpsychism extending to non-living nature is an implausible doctrine.
18. The Harvard Review of Philosophy: Volume > 25
Kristin Andrews Do Apes Attribute Beliefs to Predict Behavior?: A Mengzian Social Intelligence Hypothesis
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I defend a Mengzian version of the Social Intelligence Hypothesis, according to which humans think about one another’s beliefs and desires—and reasons for action—in order to solve our social living problems through cooperation, rather than through competition and deception, as the more familiar Machiavellian version has it. Given this framework, and a corresponding view about the function of belief attribution, I argue that while apes need not attribute propositional attitudes to pass the “false belief task,” we should not conclude that apes may be behaviorists. Rather, the Mengzian Social Intelligence Hypothesis perspective offers another interpretation of ape behavior, intermediate between behaviorist and propositional attitude schemas. I argue that the false belief task can be solved by individuals who have an agency schema which takes others to be minded beings who have goals, emotions, and perceptions, but who fail to consider propositional attitudes or reasons for behavior. I then argue that a true test of belief attribution in great apes would be one that shows they seek explanations in terms of reasons for behavior. However, no such test yet exists.
animal agency
19. The Harvard Review of Philosophy: Volume > 25
Dale Jamieson Animal Agency
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The rise of physicalism and naturalism, the development of cognitive science, and the explosion and popularization of knowledge about animal behavior has brought us to see that most of the properties that were once thought to distinguish humans from other animals are shared with other animals. Many people now see properties that are morally relevant to how it is permissible to treat animals, such as sentience, as widely distributed. Agency, however, is one area in which the retreat from human uniqueness is halting. In this essay I suggest that we should feel the same pressure to bring together accounts of human and animal agency that we feel with respect to sentience and other such characteristics. I go on to diagnose the resistance, and briefly sketch how things might look if we were to see agency as continuous.
20. The Harvard Review of Philosophy: Volume > 25
Nicolas Delon Animal Agency, Captivity, and Meaning
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Can animals be agents? Do they want to be free? Can they have meaningful lives? If so, should we change the way we treat them? This paper offers an account of animal agency and of two continuums: between human and nonhuman agency, and between wildness and captivity. It describes how human activities impede on animals’ freedom and argues that, in doing so, we deprive many animals of opportunities to exercise their agency in ways that can give meaning to their lives.