The reading for KCL MAP reading ground next week will be ‘On Believing in Witches’ by Heikki Saari.
We will be meeting 13:00-14:00, Wed 4th, Activity Room E, 8th Floor, South east wing, Bush house. All are welcome!
Abstract: In this paper I discuss Polycarp Ikuenobe’s view that it is rational to believe, in an African context, in the existence of witches and witchcraft. First, I attempt to show that it is not possible to prove empirically that witches and witchcraft are real, as Ikuenobe assumes. I argue that even though witches and witchcraft are part of the social reality in which many Africans live, they do not have the same ontological status as theoretical entities in scientific research. Second, I try to show that Ikuenobe’s attempt to demonstrate that the belief in witches and witchcraft has a rational foundation is not convincing. Admittedly, Africans, who live in magic-ridden cultures, have reasons that locally justify their belief in witches and witchcraft. However, when the justification offered for this belief is assessed by external standards, employed within scientific discourse, it turns out to be insufficient.
The reading for the next KCL MAP reading group will be ‘Evil Deceivers and Make-Believers: Transphobic Violence and the Politics of Illusion’ (see attached) by Talia Mae Bettcher, Professor and Chair of Philosophy at California State University, Los Angeles.
Time: 13:00, Wed 20th Nov
Location: Activity Room E, 8th Floor, South East Wing, Bush House
Abstract: This essay examines the stereotype that transgender people are “deceivers” and the stereotype’s role in promoting and excusing transphobic violence. The stereotype derives from a contrast between gender presentation (appearance) and sexed body (concealed reality). Because gender presentation represents genital status, Bettcher argues, people who “misalign” the two are viewed as deceivers. The author shows how this system of gender presentation as genital representation is part of larger sexist and racist systems of violence and oppression.
CW: This essay contains references to transphobic violence.
KCL Minorities and Philosophy will be hosting Liam Kofi Bright, assistant professor at the LSE, to give a talk titled: ‘Against the Canon’. The talk will explore how the philosophical canon can homogenise education and the connection between having a canon and epistemic injustices.
Date/Time: 6pm, Monday 11th November
Location: 1.05, South East Wing, Bush House
This room is wheelchair accessible. Let us know if you require any further accessibility arrangements and we will try our best to accommodate them.
The talk will be followed by drinks in the Philosophy Bar.
KCL MAP reading group will continue next Wednesday (6th) 13:00-14:00, Activity room E, floor 8, South East Wing, Bush House.
We will be reading ‘Of Our Spiritual Strivings’ by W. E. B. Du Bois, the first chapter in his book ‘The Souls of Black Folk’.
In this chapter Du Bois reflects on the ‘double consciousness’ he has and the tension between his two identities: who he truly is and who he is taken to be by others because of his race.
Our reading group is open to people from all levels of philosophy, as well as those outside the department!
This coming Wednesday, MAP will meet to discus Kristie Dotson’s paper ‘How Is This Paper Philosophy?’
1-2pm, Wednesday 23rd October
Activity Room E, 8th Floor South East Wing, Bush House
In the paper, Dotson considers how a culture of justification in academic philosophy is creating a difficult working environment for academic philosophers from diverse backgrounds and what can be done to change this! As the paper is a bit on the longer side, we will be focusing on sections 2-5, but you are more than welcome to read the whole thing if you have the time and energy!
The reading is open to all! Please feel free to come along and join.
In celebration of Black History Month, MAP and PhilSoc will be co-hosting a film screening of the documentary ‘The Stuart Hall Project’ (2013), written and directed by Black British artist and writer John Akomfrah.
Tuesday 15th October, 18:00-20:00
Strand Campus, S -1.27 (wheelchair accessible)
Stuart Hall was a Jamaican-born British philosopher, critical theorist, sociologist, and Marxist. He is considered one of the founding figures of the ‘New Left’ political movement of the 60s and 70s, as we as central to the development of Cultural Studies in Britain. The documentary looks at Hall’s life from colonial Jamaica to British intellectual, exploring themes of identity, diaspora, post-coloniality, and what it meant to be Black and British during the 70s.
The film screening is open to all!
If you are non-King’s student you will need to book a ticket on eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-stuart-hall-project-film-screening-tickets-75169129891
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1359864710849465/
KCL MAP reading group will be meeting 13:00 – 14:00 next Wednesday, 9th October, in Activity room E, KCLSU (Bush House, South East Wing). The reading is ‘Reparations and Racial Inequality’, by Derrick Darby, University of Kansas (see file/abstract below). The reading group is open to all — staff, students, PGTs and PGRs, within and external to the department. All are welcome to attend!
For regular updates, join our Facebook reading group page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/581544455595991/
Or sign up to our mailing list by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract: A recent development in philosophical scholarship on reparations for black chattel slavery and Jim Crow segregation is reliance upon social science in normative arguments for reparations. Although there are certainly positive things to be said in favor of an empirically informed normative argument for black reparations, given the depth of empirical disagreement about the causes of persistent racial inequalities, and the ethos of ‘post-racial’ America, the strongest normative argument for reparations may be one that goes through irrespective of how we ultimately explain the causes of racial inequalities. By illuminating the interplay between normative political philosophy and social scientific explanations of racial inequality in the prevailing corrective justice argument for black reparations, I shall explain why an alternative normative argument, which is not tethered to a particular empirical explanation of racial inequality, may be more appealing.