CORNEL WEST VS RICHARD WR...

Ralph Dumain rdumain at igc.apc.org
Sun Apr 30 22:38:44 MDT 1995


>Please, please, let us stop equating black philosophy (that
>which is written by men) with an accurate portrayal of black
>life in America when all is missing one important factor: black
>women.

I don't understand the logic behind this post at all, equating or
disequating black philosophy with men with black life with women
with portrayals.  You will have to take up your quarrel with those
who are doing those things you object to.

However, this does give me the opportunity to cite the work of the
only Afro-American female professional philosopher I know exists:
Adrian Piper.  I think she is also a famous artist, too, which
makes for quite a distinguished double career.  Her philosophical
work is on a much higher plane than all the stuff I have been
criticizing.  She has published an essay on xenophobia, which is a
predictable topic for a black person, to be sure, but she treats
xenophobia as an issue within the philosophy of Immanuel Kant.
Her work on Kant is top-drawer: it takes place on a very high
level of abstraction and analytical exactitude.  This, my friends,
is philosophy.  It is not just treating of issues or life (however
exclusively or inclusively defined) any old way, but treating of
whatever segment of reality it examines on a certain conceptual
plane, and that was my point to begin with.  So, by all means,
let's bring those black women on and see what they can do, and you
can be sure I'll not change my standards for them either.  If
there's more out there like Piper, so much the better for us and
our world.


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