Whiteness as method in philosophy

Ah, whiteness and philosophy. I spent a lot of time thinking about the racialized boundaries of the discipline a long time ago – this thing I wrote came out seven years ago and I still agree with it:

“Significant occlusions structure philosophy as a discipline. They are not limited to racialized abstractions; partitioned social ontologies have also to do with ability and disability, heteronormativity, and gender formation – among others. But all of these categories are racialized, and in ways that bear the marks of the reproduction of whiteness specifically. Given the operations through which the specificity of white racial formation is made to stand in for general, universal experience, it is no surprise that work on race is rarely considered properly philosophical. Nor is it a surprise that it is so very possible to do work on subjects that are in fact deeply racialized – like individual liberty or citizenship – as though race had nothing to do with the question. This topical racialization extends, I would argue, into more structural characteristics of the whiteness of philosophy: only some questions will be possible to ask and only some methods understood as legitimate ways forward. And all of this will help to determine who ends up practicing philosophy – which subjects subsist in the discipline as philosophers.”

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