Bad Faith and Antiblack Racism

Lewis Gordon here presents the first detailed existential phenomenological investigation of antiblack racism as a form of Sartrean bad faith. Bad faith, the attitude in which human beings attempt to evade freedom and responsibility, is treated as a constant possibility of human existence, Antiblack racism, the attitude and practice that involve the construction of black people as fundamentally inferior and subhuman, is examined as an effort to evade the responsibilities of a human and humane world. Gordon argues that the concept of bad faith militates against any human science that is built upon a theory of human nature and as such offers an analysis of antiblack racism that stands as a challenge to our ordinary assumptions of what it means to be human.

The themes explored include problems emerging through the convergence of race and gender, race and class, race and rationality, race and language, race and identity, race and philosophy, race and theology, race and psychology, race and ethics, and race and violence. This investigation will be of interest to students of philosophy, African American studies, gender and cultural studies, social and political theory, and systematic theology.

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