Friday, 25 November 2011

Philosophical Anthropology, Race, and the Political Econonmy of Disenfranchisement

By Lewis Gordon, 2005

It has been the practice in recent, mainstream American political theory to appeal to notions of facts from which to draw on the values of American society and to formulate, from such facts, Americans' unique notions of justice and freedom. This approach rests upon an obvious suspension of notions of value that transcend sociological and psychological factors, the culmination of which is the almost slogan-like formulation by its most eminent proponent, John Rawls, of his theory of justice being "political, not metaphysical." Yet such theorists are neither anthropologists nor sociologists, nor for that matter, are they critical theorists, so the assessments they make of "our values" are ultimately either pseudo-social scientific or ultimately a priori notions of what, given our considered judgments, we may believe in spite of facts.

Click here to read this essay in pdf.