Undoing the Mirage of Racism through Philosophy of Race


No shortage of bigotry and prejudice can be found around the world. But why race to the bottom and compete for a monopoly on tragedy in human mistreatment? The philosophy of race is an intricate piece to the study of language, art, history, and culture and wants to learn about elsewhere and distant others. How we go about understanding the issues of identity politics and what solidifies a community’s sense of purpose and mythic consciousness hinges upon our attitudes toward cultures and ethno-racial relations. When it comes to the migrant crises, socio-economic conditions aggravating inequalities, or geo-political conflicts, for example, people’s premonitions about race largely inform how they respond to the demands for social justice. Tracing the trajectory from chattel slavery, the trail of tears, Jim Crow laws and lynchings, the civil rights movements, police brutality and profiling, to Black Lives Matter should we be believers or skeptics of racial progress?
Our global ethnoscape and diasporic makeup is vast and complex. Due to this, studying race is emerging from the backwaters of academia and becoming an essential mode of inquiry, especially in African American philosophy and philosophy of culture. Similar to the “linguistic turn,” philosophy is undergoing a “racial turn” of sorts. Philosophy’s transdisciplinary nature is well-suited to examine this ethno-racial complexity, but has not lived up to its potential by failing to take more seriously the social disadvantages endured by underrepresented groups. In many ways, philosophy contributed to the dark history of grounding antiblack racism in biology, anthropology, the social sciences, and speculative metaphysics. Hence, it is vital that all practioners in our profession, especially philosophers of culture, work on behalf of reconciliation and atonement for such sins. Furthermore, confronting questions about racism and social justice will “improve philosophy” as Naomi Zack and others have argued.

How to cite:

Jackson, Myron Moses. “Undoing the Mirage of Racism through Philosophy of Race.” Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture 6, no. 3 (2022):  1-4. https://doi.org/10.14394/eidos.jpc.2022.0021.


Myron Moses Jackson
Department of Philosophy and Religion, Western Carolina University
Stillwell 232, 1 University Drive, Cullowhee, NC 28723, USA

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