Guest speaker: Prof. Kristie Dotson, Michigan State University

December 5, 2014

The Department of Philosophy is pleased to announce a talk in the Epistemology, Language, Metaphysics, and Mind Series, by Professor Kristie Dotson, of Michigan State University 

When: Monday, December 8, 2014 at 4 p.m.
Where: Linsly Chittenden Hall (LC)  room 103, 63 High St.

Title: A Road to Oblivion or Joe Scarborough on Ferguson

Abstract: In her recent Salon piece, “White American’s Scary Delusion: Why Its Sense of Black Humanity is So Skewed”, Brittney Cooper labels the stupefaction many White people have in the face of today’s Black rage as an “epistemology problem”. It is a problem, she explains, of people utilizing inadequate frameworks for understanding ‘reasonable’ responses to relentless state sanctioned violence against Black people. In this paper, I lend support to Cooper’s claim by outlining the kinds of epistemic oppression that can be found in even the most seemingly “reasonable” rejection of Black rage in this moment. Particularly, I analyze Joe Scarborough’s December 3rd rant on the so-called senselessness of civil unrest around Michael Brown by identifying several forms of epistemic oppression Scarborough can be said to participate in and maintain. Ultimately, I demonstrate how one of the fronts one must struggle on for justice in the 21st century is an epistemological one.