Racial Realities
Luvell Anderson (Syracuse University)

October 21, 2022, 9:00am - 10:30am
The Royal Institute of Philosophy

Marshall Building, Lincoln Inn's Fields
United Kingdom


Words and Worlds

New Directions in the Philosophy of Language

The 2022/23 Royal Institute of Philosophy London Lecture Series

Early in the twentieth century, philosophy in the English-speaking world took what Richard Rorty later called “The Linguistic Turn” in which language became the central focus of philosophy. In the twenty-first century, the philosophy of language remains strong but has changed considerably. This series examines these new directions, including new questions and methods as well as interest in what other disciplines and world philosophies have to teach us. The speakers are all leading or up-and-coming thinkers representing the full diversity of philosophy in the English-speaking world today. Their talks are aimed as much at the interested generalist as philosophical specialists. All are welcome.

Luvell Anderson (Syracuse University)

Racial Realities

Controversies over gender, race, and immigration take place in legislatures and social media. For example, there has been a sustained campaign in the United States by media figures like Chris Rufo to rile people up over “Critical Race Theory” by stoking fears about radical indoctrination in public schools. The controversies reveal a clash of worlds—different value systems, sets of interests, social orders for which language is a significant battlefront; we are engrossed in a war of words. According to James Baldwin, language is a means and tool of power, each describing a different reality. What is the nature of these realities? Do they create worlds so distinct that genuine communication becomes impossible? And what does this mean for things like achieving racial justice?

Professor Anderson is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Affiliate Faculty in African American Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies at Syracuse University. His research lies principally in Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Humor, and Philosophy of Race. He is co-editor of the Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Race and the forthcoming Oxford Handbook on Applied Philosophy of Language. He is currently finishing a book on The Ethics of Racial Humor, forthcoming with Oxford University Press and Philosophy of Race and Racism: The Basics, to be published with Routledge.

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October 20, 2022, 6:00pm BST

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