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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Authentic Identities, Andrew Pierce Jan 2015

Authentic Identities, Andrew Pierce

Andrew J. Pierce

Authenticity has played a central role in modern philosophical discourse, where it has often been interpreted individualistically. But concerns about authenticity also arise in relation to questions of group membership, and become especially pressing in the case of minority and/or disadvantaged groups. In this essay, I develop an alternative conception of authenticity based on the intersubjective relation of trust. Such a relational conception is better equipped to deal with both the authenticity of individuals, and that of groups, which, I ultimately argue, are two sides of the same coin.


The Myth Of The White Minority, Andrew Pierce Dec 2014

The Myth Of The White Minority, Andrew Pierce

Andrew J. Pierce

In recent years, and especially in the wake of Barack Obama’s reelection, projections that whites will soon become a minority have proliferated. In this essay, I will argue that such predictions are misleading at best, as they rest on questionable philosophical presuppositions, including the presupposition that racial concepts like ‘whiteness’ are static and unchanging rather than fluid and continually being reconstructed. If I am right about these fundamental inaccuracies, one must wonder why the myth of the white minority persists. I will argue that by re-envisioning whites as a minority culture struggling against a hostile dominant group, and by ...


Structural Racism, Institutional Agency, And Disrespect, Andrew Pierce Jan 2014

Structural Racism, Institutional Agency, And Disrespect, Andrew Pierce

Andrew J. Pierce

In recent work, Joshua Glasgow has offered a definition of racism that is supposed to put to rest the debates between cognitive, behavioral, attitudinal, and institutionalist definitions. The key to such a definition, he argues, is the idea of disrespect. He claims: “X is racist if and only if Xis disrespectful toward members of racialized group R as Rs.” While this definition may capture an important commonality among cognitive, behavioral, and attitudinal accounts of racism, I argue that his attempt to expand the definition to cover institutional or “structural” racism is less persuasive. Alternatively, I argue that structural racism must ...


Reconstructing Race: A Discourse-Theoretical Approach To A Normative Politics Of Identity, Andrew Pierce Jan 2012

Reconstructing Race: A Discourse-Theoretical Approach To A Normative Politics Of Identity, Andrew Pierce

Andrew J. Pierce

This paper aims to get clear on the normative implications of the idea that race is a “social construction,” not just for political practice in non-ideal societies where racial oppression remains, but in “ideal” (presumably non-racist) societies as well. That is, I pursue the question of whether race and/or racial identity would have any legitimate place in an ideally just society, or to state it another way, whether the concept of race can be extricated from the history of racial oppression from which it arose. The position I defend is a version of what has come to be called ...


Formal Democracy, Structural Violence, And The Possibility Of "Perpetual Peace.", Andrew Pierce Jan 2011

Formal Democracy, Structural Violence, And The Possibility Of "Perpetual Peace.", Andrew Pierce

Andrew J. Pierce

In this paper, I revisit and evaluate Kant’s prerequisites for “perpetual peace,” including the claim, central to contemporary political rhetoric, that formal democracy produces peace. I argue that formal democracy alone is insufficient to address the kinds of deep-rooted structural violence that ultimately manifest in terrorism and other forms of direct violence. I claim that the attempt to eliminate structural violence, and so achieve real “perpetual peace,” requires a more substantive sort of democracy, of which the United States and the West remain poor examples. It requires a political critique that goes deeper than just the critique of state ...