Jiang Shigong

Jiang Shigong is an advocate for the “conservative socialist” exponent of Xi Jinping Thought, a set of policies and ideas that are derived from the Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping. Jinping advocated for a socialism (think of it as a branch of communism but instead citizens share equally resources as allocated by the government rather than the government owning most things under communism) with Chinese characteristics, using the ideals of Marx (think of Karl Marx, founder of the idea of communism which consists of an equitable redistribution of wealth and a state-centered economy rather than capitalism, the dominant [...]

By |2021-08-05T02:22:26+00:00August 5, 2021|Philosophers to Know|0 Comments

Settler Colonialism

Settler colonialism. A complex, vast, and diverse theory that encompasses a wide array of things. But, nevertheless, I’ll try my best to break it down for you, especially since this is such a foundational theory to understand when analyzing Indigenous scholarship. Let’s be clear. Settler colonialism is NOT a thing of the past. It wasn’t simply Christopher Columbus or Jamestown settlers showing up to the Americas and displacing the indigenous. Settler colonialism is a global and transnational phenomenon that is a thing of the present. It differs from “colonialism” in that settlers come to stay, founding a political order that [...]

By |2021-08-05T01:51:16+00:00July 26, 2021|Things to Learn|0 Comments

The Great Debaters

This movie is one that hits close to home, considering the fact that my interest in philosophy, argumentation, and persuasion came about through my introduction to debate. The Great Debaters, starring Denzel Washington, tells the underdog story of how Wiley College, a historically black college, attempted to compete with the white-male dominated institution of Harvard University in a speech and debate competition. The timeframe? The 1930s, during the height of the Jim Crow Era. This was no easy task. Not only were the debaters already disadvantaged due to their lack of resources, but anti-black racism was so pervasive that the [...]

By |2021-08-05T01:28:53+00:00July 12, 2021|Things to Watch|0 Comments

Gloria Anzaldúa

1,950 mile-long open wound dividing a pueblo, a culture, running down the length of my body, staking fence rods in my flesh, splits me    splits me me raja      me raja (Anzaldúa 1987: 2) This piece was written by Chicana (a women/girl of Mexican descent or origin) scholar Gloria Anzaldúa. Chicana studies are silenced in almost every aspect, especially given the politicizing narrative that becomes unnecessarily attached to them, such as “illegal immigrants”. Above, the graphic description describes Anzaldúa’s personal experience growing up on the US-Mexican border. Not ideal by any measure at all. Anzaldúa is considered pivotal to Third World feminism, a [...]

By |2021-08-05T01:06:48+00:00June 28, 2021|Philosophers to Know|0 Comments

The Four Waves of Feminism

Coming off our blog post last time about Judith Butler, queer studies, and feminist theory, it’s fitting to understand the history of feminism and how it has evolved through the centuries. People often have the misconception that all feminism is the same, remaining static throughout history. While there are certainly some similarities among the different “waves” of feminism, or movements, there are major differences that characterize the goals and methods utilized by each wave. Let’s go through each one of them, discussing the major figures and desires of each. First Wave Feminism occurred during the late 19th century, characterized by [...]

By |2021-08-05T00:44:47+00:00June 14, 2021|Things to Learn|0 Comments

Judith Butler

One aspect of critical theory that is overlooked, even by prominent academics, is queer theory, gender studies, and philosophical feminism. Judith Butler is a philosopher whose work intersects with each of these different areas in the 20th century. Her best-known work, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, continues the notion that gender is socially constructed, critiquing the conventional notions of gender and sexuality that she views as perpetuating traditional patriarchal values. She extends this further by explaining it as a justification for the oppression of homosexuals and transgender persons. By stating that gender is socially constructed, she means [...]

By |2021-08-05T00:26:39+00:00May 31, 2021|Philosophers to Know|0 Comments

Firelight

While we often believe of learning philosophy through reading large and abstract books that can be daunting, philosophy is not simply limited to what we read from the text. Exploring philosophical principles and opportunities for discussion abound in movies. One that I've watched recently is "Firelight", starring Cuba Gooding Jr and Q'orianka Kilcher. “Firelight” tells the story of young female inmates who find a new lease on life by becoming volunteer firefighters. As the movie transpires, the audience becomes immersed in the upbringing that these young women come from, many from a very troubled background riddled with violence, drugs, and neglect [...]

By |2021-08-03T21:22:35+00:00May 17, 2021|Things to Watch|0 Comments

Kwame Anthony Appiah

Racial discourse has come to dominate modern political discourse and rightfully so. While America has made strives to reform its racial foundation that determines political, social, and economic interactions, the concept of race has entered into the American vernacular and societal consciousness. Kwame Anthony Appiah, rather than taking a socio-historical, classist, metaphysical, or scientific context, approaches through this previous frame of understanding. Appiah comes to approach the notion of "biological race" as problematic, arguing that these categories and labels are actually detrimental to the individual by constraining their freedom and limiting their possibilities. Essentially, the categories of race that we [...]

By |2021-08-03T21:20:13+00:00May 3, 2021|Philosophers to Know|0 Comments

Mindfulness

Philosophy is mistaken for high-level academic work that constructs new concepts and exists only in big, old books that are hard to pick up. However, philosophy goes beyond this limited understanding. Instead, it can be loosely understood as the love for wisdom and development of the brain, which has a multitude of connections to everyday life. Philosophy intersects nearly every aspect of the world, enabling us to better think about how to train our brains. One sector of this is mindfulness. The philosophy of mindfulness begins with the basic premise that we are able to be fully conscious and aware [...]

By |2021-08-05T01:31:33+00:00April 19, 2021|Things to Learn|0 Comments

Cornel West

Oftentimes, philosophical discussion short-circuits diverse representation, forgoing its promise to include a wide variety of perspectives. In today’s blog, we will focus on Cornel West, a vital philosopher and political activist who has had a huge impact on modern race scholarship and social critiques. It’s important to note that past historical figures such as Martin Luther King, Jr. play a vital role in West’s philosophy, who hopes to communicate his legacy to the audience of today. From a young age, West became surrounded by prominent religious figures, regularly attending Baptist church where he listened to testimonials of those whose grandparents [...]

By |2021-08-03T21:18:56+00:00April 5, 2021|Philosophers to Know|0 Comments
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