This article confronts the problems of establishing normative restrictive claims for delegitimizing conduct and attitudes of cultural appropriation. Using C. Thi Nguyen’s and Matthew Strhol’s intimacy account (IA) as a background, I offer an alternative of cultural adoption relying upon Alain Locke’s value theory and philosophical pluralism. The phenomenon of cultural adoption I propose develops some insights from Nguyen’s and Strohl’s IA, while critiquing their framework’s perceived limitations. By adding loyalty and intensity to the prerogatives of intimacy, the hope is that a more nuanced approach to the ethical concerns of cultural adoption will be achieved. My contention is that Locke’s notions of a racial sense or kinship feeling provides stronger grounds for establishing an ethics of the passerby or what I will call non-intimate encounters. Next, I will argue that the interpersonal relations of groups cannot be interpreted as simple, but only as complex wholes. Instead of monoliths and exclusive binaries, we have to recognize variation within groups and learn to think in what Albert Murray calls “mulatto,” or a culture of novel hybrids. In the final section, I argue that Locke’s philosophy, broadly construed, operates as a contraceptive knowledge against the growing imperial apathy of populists and absolutists. We should work to abandon forms of political and epistemological violence by rejecting these forms of cultural abuse. It is my grand contention that human groups express in their differences a uniqueness that makes us distrust or admire and like each other.
intimacy account, intercultural reciprocity, cultural adoption, kinship of feeling, cultural ethics
How to cite:
Jackson, Myron Moses. “Racial Foster Care, Contraceptive Knowledge and Adoption in Alain Locke’s Philosophy of Culture.” Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture 6, no. 3 (2022): 62-78. https://doi.org/10.14394/eidos.jpc.2022.0025.
Myron Moses Jackson
Department of Philosophy and Religion, Western Carolina University
Stillwell 232, 1 University Drive, Cullowhee, NC 28723, USA
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