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The Politics of Survival : Peirce, Affectivity, and Social Criticism (Hardcover)

Author: Trout, Lara

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'This is a brave book, balancing strong scholarship, clear organization, and a provocative-reading Peirce.-Roger Ward, Georgetown College

"The Politics of Survival provides a lucid, compelling, and exceptionally accessible account of the relevance of Peirce and pragmatism to contemporary discussions of social justice. Trout demonstrates how Peirce's philosophy rises above his personal prejudices to provide a unique set of tools for analyzing and criticizing the nonconscious biases of those who believe they are free of prejudice. The Politics of Surival is unmatched in the manner in which it makes Peirce and pragmatism relevant to recent literature on racism and sexism."-Mitchell Aboulafia, The Juilliard School

How can sincere, well-meaning people unintentionally perpetuate discrimination based on race, sex, sexuality, or other sociopolitical factors? To address this question, Lara Trout engages a neglected dimension of Charles S. Peirce's philosophy?human embodiment?in order to highlight the compatibility between Peirce's ideas and contemporary work in social criticism. This compatibility; which has been neglected in both Peircean and social criticism scholarship, emerges when the body is foregrounded among the affective dimensions of Peirce's philosophy (Including feeling, emotion, belief, doubt, instinct, and habit). Trout explains unintentional discrimination by situating Peircean affectivity within a post-Darwinian context, using the work of contemporary neuroscientist Antonio Damasio to facilitate this contextual move: Because children are vulnerable, naive,-and dependent upon their caretakers for survival, they must trust, their caretakers' testimony about reality: This dependency, coupled with societal norms that reinforce historically dominant perspectives (such as being heterosexual, male, middle-class, and/or white), fosters the internalization of discriminatory habits that function nonconsciously in adulthood.

The Potitics of Survival bringss. Peirce and social criticism into conversation. On the one hand, Peircean cognition, epistemology, phenomenology,and metaphysics dovetail with social critical Msiihts into the interrelationships among body and mind, emotion and reason, self and society. Moreover, Peirce's epistemological ideal of an infinitely inclusive community of inquiry into knowledge and reality implies a repudiation of exclusionary prejudice. On the other hand, work in feminism and race theory illustrates how the application of Peirce's infinitely inclusive communal ideal can be undermined by nonconscious habits of exclusion internalized in childhood by members belonging to historically dominant groups, such as the economically privileged, heterosexuals, men, and whites. Trout offers a Peircean response to this application problem that both acknowledges the "blind spots" of nonconscious discrimination and recommends a communally situated network of remedies including agapic love, critical common - sensism, scientific method, and self-control.


Publisher Fordham Univ Pr
Mfg Part# 9780823232956
SKU 213648063
Format Hardcover
ISBN10 0823232956
Release Date 4/12/2010
Product Attributes
Book Format Hardcover
Number of Pages 0362
Publisher Fordham University Press
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