Visible identities:race, gender, and the self/Linda Martın Alcoff. p. cm.—(Studies in feminist philosophy). Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN In the heated debates over identity politics, few theorists have looked carefully at the conceptualizations of identity assumed by all sides. Visible. PDF | On Mar 1, , David Ingram and others published Visible Identities: Race, Gender, and the Self by Linda Alcoff.

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Identtiies problem is also apparent in her discussion of the black-white binary. They are the “situations” from which we come to know, understand, and reason about the world. The desire of those communities to conserve their identities presents a challenge to those liberals vusible want to shift the national discussion to unity and the common good. Gaile Pohlhaus – – Hypatia 27 4: From the Publisher via CrossRef no proxy Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University’s proxy server Configure custom proxy use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy.

The Metaphysics of Gender and Sexual Difference. More In the heated debates alcpff identity politics, few theorists have looked carefully at the conceptualizations of identity assumed by all sides.

Visible Identities: Race, Gender, and the Self

Answers to the “who” question are always hopeful, for they point to not what we are but who we hope to be. In that analysis viisible avoids, however, the dangers of the institutionalization of those identities, which precisely lead to critiques of identity politics. Alcoff’s attempt to make a political argument through metaphysical analysis immediately calls to mind the distinction between those two areas of inquiry and their presumed separateness. Of course, the familiarity of the latter idea is due in no small part to the influence that her essay “Mestizo Identity” has had on race theory.

Coetzee – – Philosophical Papers 30 3: Furthermore, she identiyies disagrees with the condition regarding identity that is required by Rorty’s great left liberal hope: Alcoff effectively argues that any analysis of the ontology of race, ethnicity, or gender will necessarily be incomplete without seriously considering the embodied experience of beings marked by those categories.

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Sign in Create an account. Modern Identities Between Taylor and Foucault. The second problem claims that these identities reify what are really illusory categories. In the heated debates over identity politics, few theorists have looked carefully at the conceptualizations of identity assumed by all sides.


Toward a Theory of Willful Hermeneutical Ignorance. Classical, Early, and Medieval Poetry and Poets: Although the weight of Alcoff’s analysis rests in the first section, the collection of chapters in the following sections, all of which have been previously published, are invaluable resources for scholars interested in this area of philosophy, and will be useful in classes ranging from political and social philosophy to feminist philosophy and race theory.

Located as we are within our embodied identities, it is naive for liberals to insist that individuals who recognize visihle seek recognition of their embodied identities are “reifying” those identities.

Linda Martn Alcoff, Visible Identities: Race, Gender, and the Self – PhilPapers

Latinos and the Categories of Race. They will still want to know how our visible identities can become properly public identities that aid us to understand and motivate us to strive for the common good.

Moral Universalism and Economic Triage,” Diogenes Simply put, critics charge that identity politics compels individuals to value the good of their group over that of the common good. Philosophical Issues of Identity and Justice. History of Western Philosophy.

Visible identities, according to Alcoff, are a resource in a pluralistic democracy, and are not to be eschewed for a simple American identity beyond hyphens, race, ethnicity, and gender difference. Essays on Ethics and Feminism Sabina Lovibond. Classical, Early, and Medieval Prose and Writers: The Ant Trap Brian Epstein.

Her arguments, however, do not address the metaphysical arguments of those who question the objective existence of at least one of the central categories of her analysis. Udentities, Gender and the Self. Gender Identity and Gender Differences 5.

They are, respectively, the separation, reification, and reasoning problems, and each comes with its own assumptions about the nature of difference. In addition to the chapters already mentioned, her other chapters include an analysis of the identity crisis in feminist theory, whiteness, the black-white binary, and a discussion of the debate over whether ‘Latino’ refers to a racial or ethnic category.

Furthermore, since these categories come with scripts, determined by social expectations and stereotypes, they serve to undermine individual autonomy and individually formed alcff life plans.


Individuals are not interacted with merely as interlocutor, citizen, person, or human; within our social worlds persons engage others as gendered and raced beings.

visinle Alcoff’s introduction of embodiment then reminds us of the specificity of the experience of each category, and the need to account for that specificity in our theories of race, ethnicity, and gender.

They seek to suppress the very multiplicity and hybridity which Alcoff depends upon to save identity from the criticisms of liberals.

In several chapters she looks specifically at Latino identity as well, including its relationship to concepts of race, identiyies specific forms of anti-Latino racism, and the politics of mestizo or hybrid identity.

Rorty assumes that strongly felt identities, such as race and ethnicity, identigies undermine the project of achieving our nation, and that such identities contain a logic that is anti-political, in the Rawlsian sense, because they undermine the realization of an overlapping consensus. In short, I worry that Alcoff does not fully consider the incentives that social identities have to institutionalize and to form bureaucracies. Her metaphysical arguments, however, will not satisfy the political worries of the liberal critics of identity.

Publications Pages Publications Pages. Coe – – Journal of Speculative Philosophy 23 3: Social Identity in Metaphysics. The upshot of these features of her idenitties is to further weaken the three objections she analyzes, especially the assumption that such identities lead to narrow, isolated, iddentities separated self-conceptions that undermine national political life. Identity and Individual Economic Agents: Alief in Action and Reaction.

But identities such as race and gender also have a powerful visual and material aspect that eliminativists and social constructionists often underestimate. The four isentities that make up that section are expanded versions of recent work, and take up the bulk of Visible Identities. She attempts such a pairing in her sixth chapter, where she defends the controversial theory that the “objective basis of sex categories is in the differential relationship to reproductive capacity between men and women Leftist Thought in the Twentieth-Century America.