chapter  1
11 Pages

Critical Philosophy of Race and Philosophical Historiography

WithRobert Bernasconi

One of the major areas within critical philosophy of race that so-called mainstream philosophers have found increasingly hard to ignore has been philosophical historiography. This is not only because it puts into question from the perspective of the history of racism the high regard in which some of the main figures of the philosophical canon are held. It also represents a challenge to the discipline's self-image and to the way the philosophical canon is conceived. This chapter outlines the potential contribution of critical philosophy of race to an understanding of the history of racism. Whereas critical race theory has tended to focus on laws and cases brought under those laws to illuminate historical forms of racism in their specific contexts, philosophers have tended to look more at the history of the concept of race itself and the racial science which gave legitimacy to new ways of thinking about race.