Charles Mills makes visible in the world of mainstream philosophy some of the crucial issues of the black experience. Ralph Ellison's metaphor of black invisibility has special relevance to philosophy, whose demographic and conceptual "whiteness" has long been a source of wonder and complaint to racial minorities. Mills points out the absence of any philosophical narrative theorizing and detailing race's centrality to the recent history of the West, such as feminists have articulated for gender domination. European expansionism in its various forms, Mills contends, generates a social ontology of race that warrants philosophical attention. Through expropriation, settlement, slavery, and colonialism, race comes into existence as simultaneously real and unreal: ontological without being biological, metaphysical without being physical, existential without being essential, shaping one's being without being in one's shape. His essays explore the contrasting sums of a white and black modernity, examine standpoint epistemology and the metaphysics of racial identity, look at black-Jewish relations and racial conspiracy theories, map the workings of a white-supremacist polity and the contours of a racist moral consciousness, and analyze the presuppositions of Frederick Douglass's famous July 4 prognosis for black political inclusion. Collectively they demonstrate what exciting new philosophical terrain can be opened up once the color line in western philosophy is made visible and addressed.
Call Number: ROW Library General Collection HX73 .M533 2003
In From Class to Race, Charles Mills maps the theoretical route that brought him to the innovative conceptual framework outlined in his academic bestseller The Racial Contract (1997). Mills argues for a new critical theory that develops the insights of the black radical political tradition. While challenging conventional interpretations of key Marxist concepts and claims, the author contends that Marxism has been "white" insofar as it has failed to recognize the centrality of race and white supremacy to the making of the modern world. By appealing to both mainstream liberal values and the structuralism traditionally associated with the left, Mills asserts that critical race theory can radicalize the mainstream Enlightenment and develop a new kind of contractarianism that deals frontally with race and other forms of social oppression rather than evading them.
<i>Contract and Domination</i> offers a bold challenge tocontemporary contract theory, arguing that it should either befundamentally rethought or abandoned altogether. Since thepublication of John Rawls′s <i>A Theory of Justice</i>, contracttheory has once again become central to the Western politicaltradition. But gender justice is neglected and racial justicealmost completely ignored. <p>Carole Pateman and Charles Mills′s earlier books, <i>The SexualContract</i> (1988) and <i>The Racial Contract</i> (1997), offereddevastating critiques of gender and racial domination and thecontemporary contract tradition′s silence on them. Both books havebecome classics of revisionist radical democratic political theory.Now Pateman and Mills are collaborating for the first time in aninterdisciplinary volume, drawing on their insights from politicalscience and philosophy. They are building on but going beyond theirearlier work to bring the sexual and racial contractstogether.<br /></p><p>In <i>Contract and Domination</i>, Pateman and Mills discusstheir differences about contract theory and whether it has a usefulfuture, excavate the (white) settler contract that created newcivil societies in North America and Australia, argue via anon-ideal contract for reparations to black Americans, confront theevasions of contemporary contract theorists, explore theintersections of gender and race and the global sexual-racialcontract, and reply to their critics.<br /></p><p>This iconoclastic book throws the gauntlet down to mainstreamwhite male contract theory. It is vital reading for anyone with aninterest in political theory and political philosophy, and thesystems of male and racial domination.</p>
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