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“Colorblindness” and Sincere Paper-Doubt: A Socio-political Application of C. S. Peirce's Critical Common-sensism

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Abstract:

This article uses Peirce's Critical Common-sensism to conduct social critical inquiry into racism and “colorblindness” in the U.S. I argue that “colorblindness” discourse – in its sincere, but na├»ve form – is an enactment of paper-doubt, where racist common-sense beliefs are supposedly eradicated, but still function unintentionally. I offer a Peircean challenge to the common dismissal of people of color's testimony regarding the prevalence of racism. Since people of color experience racism-based secondness often not experienced by whites, their testimony must be embraced as indispensable to the elimination of racist belief-habits.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2008

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