On Charles Mills’s “Black Radical Kantianism”

Radical Philosophy Review 26 (2):257-273 (2023)
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Abstract

In this remembrance essay I reflect on my seventeen years of friendship and apprenticeship with Charles W. Mills. I focus on Mills’s “Black Radical Kantianism,” (2018) situating it in light of his earlier work on Kant, history of philosophy, political philosophy, and race, and demonstrating the lasting impact of Mills’s work especially on Kant Studies and Kantian moral-legal-political philosophy. In this analysis, I both acknowledge Mills’s radicalization of Kantianism as a major win toward making white supremacy visible in Kant Studies and political philosophy and remain skeptical of Mills’s strategy of revising liberalism and especially Kantianism for reparative justice projects. After all, holding multiple and seemingly contradictory truths at once is something I have learned from Charles, as it will become clear.

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