Former NAACP chapter head Rachel Dolezal's attempted transition from the white to the black race occasioned heated controversy. Her story gained notoriety at the same time that Caitlyn Jenner graced the cover of Vanity Fair, signaling a growing acceptance of transgender identity. Yet criticisms of Dolezal for misrepresenting her birth race indicate a widespread social perception that it is neither possible nor acceptable to change one's race in the way it might be to change one's sex. Considerations that support transgenderism (...) seem to apply equally to transracialism. Although Dolezal herself may or may not represent a genuine case of a transracial person, her story and the public reaction to it serve helpful illustrative purposes. (shrink)
Currently, there are many advocacy interventions aimed at reducing animal consumption. We report results from a lab (N = 267) and a field experiment (N = 208) exploring whether, and to what extent, some of those educational interventions are effective at shifting attitudes and behavior related to animal consumption. In the lab experiment, participants were randomly assigned to read a philosophical ethics paper, watch an animal advocacy video, read an advocacy pamphlet, or watch a control video. In the field experiment, (...) we measured the impact of college classes with animal ethics content versus college classes without animal ethics content. Using a pretest, post-test matched control group design, humane educational interventions generally made people more knowledgeable about animals used as food and reduced justifications and speciesist attitudes supporting animal consumption. None of the interventions in either experiment had a direct, measurable impact on self-reported animal consumption. These results suggest that while some educational interventions can change beliefs and attitudes about animal consumption, those same interventions have small impacts on animal consumption. (shrink)
This paper seeks to clear up the confusion surrounding debates over cultural appropriation. To do so, I argue for an agent-centred approach—a focus on appropriators more than appropriation. In my view, cultural misappropriation involves agents who exhibit disregard toward a relevant culture and its members. I argue further that this approach improves upon recent alternative philosophical approaches to cultural appropriation, which I divide into two camps: toleration-based and power-based.
In this essay, I reply to critiques of my article “In Defense of Transracialism.” Echoing Chloë Taylor and Lewis Gordon’s remarks on the controversy over my article, I first reflect on the lack of intellectual generosity displayed in response to my paper. In reply to Kris Sealey, I next argue that it is dangerous to hinge the moral acceptability of a particular identity or practice on what she calls a collective co-signing. In reply to Sabrina Hom, I suggest that relying (...) on the language of passing to describe transracialism is potentially misleading. In reply to Tina Botts, I both defend analytic philosophy of race against her multiple criticisms and suggest that Botts’s remarks risk complicity with a form of transphobia that Talia Mae Bettcher calls the Basic Denial of Authenticity. I end by gesturing toward a more inclusive understanding of racial identity. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that although it is important to attend to injustices surrounding women's epistemic exclusions, it is equally important to attend to injustices surrounding women's epistemic inclusions. Partly in response to the historical exclusion of women's knowledge, there has been increasing effort among first-world actors to seek out women's knowledge. This trend is apparent in efforts to mainstream gender in climate change negotiation. Here, one is told that women's superior knowledge about how to adapt to climate change (...) makes them “poised to help solve and overcome this daunting challenge.” Pulling from the work of Miranda Fricker, I argue that such claims risk epistemically objectifying women. To illuminate the risk of women's epistemic objectification in climate change discourse, I offer a feminist analysis of current efforts to seek women's environmental knowledge, cautioning throughout that such efforts must reflect just epistemic relations. (shrink)
While there exists considerable protest against the use of animals in experimentation, less protest is voiced against the use of knowledge gained from animal experimentation. Pulling from arguments against the use of Nazi data, I suggest that using knowledge gained from animal experimentation both disrespects animal victims and sustains the practice. It is thus pro tanto morally wrong.
REBECCA TUVEL,VINCENT DUHAMEL | : La tentative de l’ancienne cheffe d’une section de la NAACP 1 Rachel Dolezal de passer de la race blanche à la race noire a occasionné une intense controverse. Son histoire est devenue célèbre au même moment où Caitlyn Jenner2 faisait la couverture de Vanity Fair, signe d’une acceptation grandissante de l’identité trans. Pourtant, les critiques adressées à Dolezal pour avoir caché sa race natale indiquent qu’il existe une perception sociale largement répandue selon laquelle il n’est (...) ni possible ni acceptable de changer de race de la manière dont on peut changer de sexe. Les considérations qui soutiennent le transgenrisme3 semblent s’appliquer également au transracialisme. Que Dolezal représente ou non un exemple authentique de personne transraciale, son histoire et la réaction publique qu’elle a suscitée peuvent fournir un cas instructif à étudier. | : Former NAACP chapter head Rachel Dolezal’s attempted transition from the white to the black race occasioned heated controversy. Her story gained notoriety at the same time that Caitlyn Jenner graced the cover of Vanity Fair, signaling a growing acceptance of transgender identity. Yet criticisms of Dolezal for misrepresenting her birth race indicate a widespread social perception that it is neither possible nor acceptable to change one’s race in the way it might be to change one’s sex. Considerations that support transgenderism seem to apply equally to transracialism. Although Dolezal herself may or may not represent a genuine case of a transracial person, her story and the public reaction to it serve helpful illustrative purposes. (shrink)
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:Where the Wild Child IsRebecca TuvelSeshadri's book challenges us to consider the political potential of silence for race and animal studies. While acknowledging the many ways in which animals and inferiorized races have been (and continue to be) consigned to realms of speechlessness, their words rendered mute and ultimately irrelevant, Seshadri seeks the neutralizing power that resides in such exiled spaces. She asks: "When power uses a concept of (...) language to silence the other, to render this other a wretched hybrid of human and animal…is there, however, a possibility that in turn silences or further neutralizes power?" (Seshadri 2012, 13). Counter to intuitions that the space of silence is powerless, Seshadri urges readers to consider what this space opens up (rather than closes down). Seshadri asks: What happens when "powerful silence functions as a mode of refusal" (21)? Might silence open a "space for opposition" (21)?An engagement with Derrida and Agamben, among others, suggests yes—that insofar as the space of silence exposes the very operation of sovereign power, it can resist that power. Here lies what Seshadri calls silence's "nonsovereign power" (13). Consider the following: traditionally, you become a subject under the law only if you have speech. Even if it is not your own speech, if the law applies to you, someone speaks on your behalf (someone has given a "voice" to your "voicelessness"). The case of animal rights is exemplary here. By giving animals a voice, we bring animals under the law. When the protection of the law is withheld from you, however, you are silenced; you are denied access to speech. In short, your voice does not matter. The screams of an animal, the protests of a slave—they are simultaneously consigned to a realm of silence (either meaningless babble or speechlessness entirely) and to a realm beyond access to the law. In short, language and law are co-implicated. [End Page 186]And yet, if silence is a part of language, and this part of language has been exiled or liberated from the law, does not this also open a space where power can be offset? Following Agamben, Seshadri's logic here runs as follows: the law, in attempting to consign speechlessness to a realm outside the law (a realm of exile or a space of nonsubjection to the law) is by this very attempt admitting there is a space outside the law. It does this in two ways. First, in order for the sovereign to say who does and does not speak, the sovereign itself must in a sense be outside language and the law, for he can only create the rules from a place beyond the rules. Second, in order for the sovereign to push anything to a realm "outside" the law, the sovereign is admitting there is a space outside his totalizing control, a space of silent yet potent resistance.In what follows, I explore some implications of Seshadri's thesis concerning silence's neutralizing power for race and animal studies. I do so by focusing on Seshadri's discussion of the "wild child." Seshadri claims that the wild child represents the space of silence par excellence. The wild child refers to those cases of feral children seen in the woods at the outskirts of villages, captured, and brought into cities where attempts are made to civilize them. Peter the Wild Boy is a famous example. This feral child without language, home, or society, who lives among the animals, sits on the fence between humanity and animality—she is what Seshadri calls a humAnimal—a figure that ultimately eludes the law. The wild child comes with neither an identity card nor a language that might enable us to identify her, locate her origins, or her race. In short, the wild child has no belonging. But by virtue of her exile from the law and shared language, she occupies a space of powerful silence.In the interest of exploring the potential of the wild child figure further, I here pose two questions for consideration. First, exactly how might Seshadri's reflections on the wild child figure be productively extended to race and animal studies? And, second... (shrink)