Reframing the Practice of Philosophy

Bodies of Color, Bodies of Knowledge

Edited by George Yancy

Subjects: Philosophy, African American Studies, Latin American Studies, Autobiography, Biography And Memoir
Series: SUNY series, Philosophy and Race
Paperback : 9781438440026, 405 pages, January 2012
Hardcover : 9781438440033, 405 pages, January 2012

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents

Introduction: Inappropriate Philosophical Subjects?
George Yancy

PART I: Colonization/Decolonization: Philosophy and Canon Formation
1. Alien and Alienated
Linda Martín Alcoff

2. Philosophy Raced, Philosophy Erased
Charles Mills

3. Attracting Latinos/as to Philosophy: Today’s Challenges
Ofelia Schutte

4. Philosophical Canons and Philosophical Traditions: The Case of Latin American Philosophy
Jorge J. E. Gracia

5. Metaphilosophical Internalism and the Possibility of a Distinctive Latin American Philosophy
Jesús H. Aguilar

PART II: Racism, the Academy, and the Practice of Philosophy
6. On the Politics of Professional Philosophy: The Plight of the African-American Philosopher
John H. McClendon III
7. Migrant, Migra, Mongrel: The Latin American Dishwasher, Busboy, and Colored/Ethnic/Diversity (Philosophy) Hire
Eduardo Mendieta

8. Why Are Hispanic Philosophers Marginalized in the American Philosophical Community?
Gregory Fernando Pappas

9. Philosophical Playa Hatin’: Race, Respect, and the Philosophy Game
Bill E. Lawson

PART III: Gender, Ethnicity, and Race
10. Toward a Place Where I Can Bring All of Me: Identity Formation and Philosophy
Jacqueline Scott

11. Re-Reading Plato’s Symposium through the Lens of a Black Woman
Donna-Dale Marcano

12. Defending Gender and Ethnic Philosophies
Oscar R. Martí

PART IV: Philosophy and the Geopolitics of Knowledge Production
13. Thinking at the Limits of Philosophy and Doing Philosophy Elsewhere: From Philosophy to Decolonial Thinking
Nelson Maldonado-Torres

14. Thinking Through the Americas Today: A Philosophical Perspective
Lewis R. Gordon

PART V: Philosophy, Language, and Hegemony
15. Geneva Smitherman: The Social Ontology of African-American Languaging, the Power of Nommo, and the Dynamics of Resistance and Identity Through Language
George Yancy

16. Language, Power, and Philosophy: Some Comments on the Exclusion of Spanish from the Philosophical Canon
Elizabeth Millan-Zaibert

17. Linguistic Hegemony and Linguistic Resistance: English, Spanish, and American Philosophy
José Medina

Contributor Notes

Reflections by leading Latin American and African American philosophers on their identity within the field of philosophy.


This daring and bold book is the first to create a textual space where African American and Latin American philosophers voice the complex range of their philosophical and meta-philosophical concerns, approaches, and visions. The voices within this book protest and theorize from their own standpoints, delineating the specific existential, philosophical, and professional problems they face as minority philosophical voices.

George Yancy is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Duquesne University. His many books include Black Bodies, White Gazes: The Continuing Significance of Race.


"Editor Yancy and contributors have produced an important critique of philosophy. This edited collection is a significant postmodern examination of the philosophical canon as a barrier to women and people of color … Yancy makes philosophy turn a critical eye on itself in order to reassess what counts as philosophy and who counts as a philosophical expert. This is an indispensable volume for every library … Highly recommended. " — CHOICE

"If the 'imperialist route' of philosophy, with its alienation, marginalization, tokenization, and oppressive practices against bodies of color is failing us, George Yancy's compilation of insightful essays disclosing the ways in which African American and Latino philosophers survive, intervene in, and reframe philosophy does not fail. From deeply personal explorations of their lived experience in the midst of hegemonic practices of North American philosophy to analyses of the danger of canon formation and gatekeeping, to discussions of the importance of the role of geography and language in philosophical discourse, these philosophers help us envision a more inclusive and integrated philosophical field. Yancy dedicates the work to philosophers of color not yet born. Indeed, this anthology will inspire present and future philosophers of color—yet, this is a must read for all philosophers, as we would all benefit from a nonimperialist vision and practice of philosophy. " — Mariana Ortega, coeditor of Constructing the Nation: A Race and Nationalism Reader

"This extremely important volume of essays by a group of distinguished Black and Latino philosophers addresses a long-standing tradition in the discipline of ignoring many rather pressing concerns regarding race and social justice. Its existence is a clear sign that much-needed change is underway. " — Tommy Lott, San José State University

"The voices of people of color are marginalized in academic philosophy. Some other disciplines in the humanities have been more successful in addressing this problem. Reframing the Practice of Philosophy brings together a diverse group of philosophers to examine this important issue. They use personal insights and their philosophical skills to help readers understand what it means to be a person of color in the so-called 'Queen of all Sciences. '" — Howard McGary, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey