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Title page for ETD etd-07132015-152820

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Pitts, Andrea J
URN etd-07132015-152820
Title Racial Interpellation and Second-personhood: Understanding the Normative Dynamics of Race Talk
Degree PhD
Department Philosophy
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Dr. José Medina Committee Chair
Dr. Kelly Oliver Committee Member
Dr. Linda Martín Alcoff Committee Member
Dr. Lisa Guenther Committee Member
Dr. Lucius T. Outlaw, Jr. Committee Member
  • Frantz Fanon
  • Speech Act Theory
  • Critical Philosophy of Race
  • Gloria Anzaldúa
  • Second-personhood
Date of Defense 2015-05-11
Availability unrestricted
In this project, I combine theoretical resources from metaethics and philosophy of language with contemporary issues in critical philosophy of race. Drawing from these literatures, I examine the nature of racial norms by developing a non-ideal, situated, and intersectional approach to second-personhood. Second-personhood, as I propose in the first half of the dissertation, serves two explanatory functions with respect to the nature of racial norms. First, second-personhood highlights how manifestations of moral and political agency are embedded in interdependent forms of ‘I-you’ and ‘we-you’ relationships. Second, with respect to language, second-personhood provides an account of how speech acts, when understood as a subset of embodied action, come to bear normative force. These features of second-personhood then undergird the three distinct sites of analysis that I examine in the latter half of the dissertation. There, I propose that we can examine collective, interpersonal, and personal levels of racial discourse to see the functioning of racial norms through second-personhood.
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