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Jennifer Baker

Thanks for this post! I work on virtue ethics and am now looking to George Yancy's account of whiteness to fit those norms into the same old account I've been using. When I've presented the work, I keep hearing: why wouldn't virtue ethicists have criticized the norms of "whiteness" (or dominance/ racism) before? (One person that I know of has, actually, but this is just a question I've gotten from a few times from non-philosophers.) My answer, for why I hadn't, has been that I wouldn't have figured out these norms without Yancy. But now I can say something in addition, like what you explain above. I was doing a form of "me" studies before I looked to the role our ideas about racial identity in practical reasoning.

Thanks for fixing what seemed so off about Heath's focus (though why he doesn't focus on the cowardice of philosophers who won't *ask questions* of colleagues has been bothering me, too!)

Thanks again, can't wait for the next post.

Tom Digby

Wonderful, and much needed, post, Audrey! Just one quick point that I hope complements it:  As you know from having read my Love and War book, I think the most powerful route to getting beyond the oppression of women (and mutatis mutandis, other modes of oppression also) starts with transcending what I call "the zero-sum gender game," in which it is presumed that "gains for women as a group imply losses for men as a group, and vice versa." For example, the misogyny that fuels women's oppression also fuels a notion of masculinity that is physically and emotionally detrimental in the lives of men. Hence, the situation may be more complicated than is captured in the assertion that "it's in the interest of a non-oppressed group to maintain the conditions of oppression." However, this complication in no way undermines your suggestion/conclusion that the perspectives of members of privileged groups need to be held to "higher epistemic standards."

Rachel McKinnon

Seriously fantastic!

Christy Mag Uidhir

Worth noting the presence at least stateside of the pernicious and rather pervasive (especially within the Humanities) implicit assumption that non-white members of the professoriate have research specializations (or even mere research interests) in the academic study of their respective non-whiteness.

Joe Heath

Thank you for noticing that I was defending cognitive diversity.

So right now I'm writing a paper on climate change. Is it really your view that this amounts to "me" studies, because it is an instance of a non-disabled philosopher failing to study disability? I feel as though something didn't get preserved amidst all the negations there...


I don't think it's for me to say what does or doesn't qualify as "me" studies, since I think framing it that way gets the problem backwards. I don't think it's a problem that people study the circumstances of their own lives - I think the real problem is that people neglect the circumstances of lives significantly different from their own.

Climate change is well outside my area of philosophical expertise, but disability is surely relevant to lots of issues in that field. I mean, I think it's taken for granted now that climate change disproportionately affects people based on economic status, so I'd hope there would be philosophers that also account for how it disproportionately affects people based on their (dis)abilities.

Kathleen Lowrey

Joe Heath -- you really want to say you are a defender of "cognitive diversity" when in your original post you went out of your way to roll your eyes at the notion of "ableism" and say that no one takes that sort of thing seriously anymore and then double down here on the same "ha ha disability what a crock" *again*? See that shovel in your hand? Put it down and walk away from it.

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Here's a link to my past blogging (and discussions involving me) at: New APPS.


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