McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts
Critical Philosophy of Race, Martin Heidegger, Philosophy of Technology, Technoracism, Virtue Ethics, Whiteness
Racism continues to be a pressing problem in Western Society. In some ways it even makes a great deal of sense to think about racism as a tool of political power. My dissertation explores the way in which racism is informed by the underlying social structure of whiteness, and the way that modern technology is informed by the underlying structure of the enframing. I draw on the works of George Yancy, and Cornel West to demonstrate that the everyday problems we face in racism are informed and guided by the systemic problem of whiteness. I then use the work of Martin Heidegger to demonstrate that the everyday problems that exist in modern technology are informed and guided by the systemic problem of enframing. By further demonstrating that the language of sin, as it is used in the works of Augustine, can be applied to both whiteness and enframing I show that these systems are manifestations of an underlying cultural attitude, technoracism. The original work in my dissertation involves defining the concept of cultural attitude and demonstrating that cultural attitudes present a dominating force in how western society has thought, lived, and worked throughout history. I then argue that our current attitude is that of technoracism, and I locate technoracism at the advent of historical modernity. Technoracism can be understood as a vice that is instantiated in the historical moments of Christian Supremacy, the drive for precise scientific categories, and the emphasis on individualism. These moments arise out of the pre-rational characteristics of violent exclusivity, precise particularity, and absolute subjectivism. I ultimately conclude that an ethical resolution to technoracism is necessary. To that end I work out a virtue ethics based on the ideal of humanity as multiplicitous and lay out the virtues of religious diversity, aesthetic mystery, and community to counter the vices of technoracism. Finally, I end my dissertation by explaining how these virtues can be brought about through the practices of detachment, tarrying, vigilance, and dialogue.
Taylor, J. (2016). Techno-Racism: Heidegger's Philosophy of Technology and Critical Philosophies of Race (Doctoral dissertation, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/63