Lincoln Inn's Fields
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 Luvell 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.