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Heikes challenges Enlightenment rationality's tendency to be an achievement concept which excludes non-whites and non-males. She examines post-Cartesian criticisms of modernism, and pre-modern efforts to address the functional diversity of human cognition, arguing that such approaches offer a rationality that is diverse and morally substantive.
Given that Enlightenment rationality developed in Europe as European nations aggressively claimed other parts of the world for their own enrichment, scholars have made rationality the subject of postcolonial critique, questioning its universality and objectivity. In On Reason, the late philosopher Emmanuel Chukwudi Eze demonstrates that rationality, and by extension philosophy, need not be renounced as manifestations or tools of Western imperialism. Examining reason in connection to the politics of difference—the cluster of issues known variously as cultural diversity, political correctness, the culture wars, and identity politics—Eze expounds a rigorous argument that reason is produced through and because of difference. In so doing, he preserves reason as a human property while at the same time showing that it cannot be thought outside the realities of cultural diversity. Advocating rationality in a multicultural world, he proposes new ways of affirming both identity and difference. Eze draws on an extraordinary command of Western philosophical thought and a deep knowledge of African philosophy and cultural traditions. He explores models of rationality in the thought of philosophers from Aristotle, René Descartes, Francis Bacon, and Thomas Hobbes to Noam Chomsky, Richard Rorty, Hilary Putnam, and Jacques Derrida, and he considers portrayals of reason in the work of the African thinkers and novelists Chinua Achebe, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, and Wole Soyinka. Eze reflects on contemporary thought about genetics, race, and postcolonial historiography as well as on the interplay between reason and unreason in the hearings of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He contends that while rationality may have a foundational formality, any understanding of its foundation and form is dynamic, always based in historical and cultural circumstances.
Rational Politics: Decisions, Games, and Strategy focuses on the unified presentation of politics as a rational human activity, including the paradox of voting and proportional representation. The publication first offers information on the study of rational politics, political intrigue in the Bible, and candidate strategies. Topics include the factor of timing in presidential primaries, rational positions in a multicandidate race, primacy of issues and their spatial representation, and politics in the story of Esther. The text then elaborates on voting paradoxes and the problems of representation, voting power, and threats and deterrence. Discussions focus on a sequential view of the Cuban missile crisis, use of threat power in Poland, power anomalies in the European Community Council of Ministers, probability of the paradox of voting, empirical examples of the paradox of voting, and problems in achieving proportional representation. The book is a valuable reference for researchers interested in rational politics.
Race and Representation is anchored by a symposium that focuses on efforts to enhance representation of African Americans in legislative bodies under the authority of the historic Voting Rights Act of 1965, and on recent court challenges to the constitutionality of redistricting plans drawn under that act. The chapters constitute an extension of an ongoing and protracted, highly charged, public debate. In her introduction, Georgia A. Persons discusses how recent Supreme Court rulings, such as in Shaw v. Reno, Miller v. Johnson, and Bush v. Vera, have significantly redefined the meaning and permissible parameters of the Voting Rights Act. The articles in Race and Representation are refreshingly informative. They include case studies written by political scientists who became involved directly with events surrounding the theme of this volume. A new section, "Reflections," is introduced; it will be reserved for commentary and analysis of an issue that captures the political spirit of the times. In the inaugural contribution, J. Owens Smith reflects on the assault on liberal philosophy as a foundation for civil rights claims and offers an alternative philosophical prism for viewing and justifying such claims. This volume is essential for political scientists, African-American studies specialists, and scholars interested in law and government.
A stinging critique of the link between global capitalism and U.S. multiculturalisms
Prison, Inc. provides a first-hand account of life behind bars in a controversial new type of prison facility: the private prison. These for-profit prisons are becoming increasingly popular as state budgets get tighter. Yet as privatization is seen as a necessary and cost-saving measure, not much is known about how these facilities are run and whether or not they can effectively watch over this difficult and dangerous population. For the first time, Prison, Inc. provides a look inside one of these private prisons as told through the eyes of an actual inmate, K.C. Carceral who has been in the prison system for over twenty years.
For most, race is evident when we look in the mirror. We all have it. Race is immutable, a genetic flip of a relationship coin. By itself, apart from culture and class, our race doesn't affect the things we all want in life. Yet, some choose to make their race synonymous with their identity, to see racial heritage as a personal achievement. We develop opinions based on associations we make with race, embracing irrational beliefs from what others and the media tell us, because we want to be safe against racial violence. We generalize from a few experiences. We talk as though race matters, though it shouldn't in a democratic, capitalistic, pluralistic society. We talk, failing to recognize common race-baiting triggers, unproductive analogies and metaphors, racial agendas, and the inflammatory language in flawed arguments that mire discussions about race in emotion and resentment. This study dissects irrational beliefs about race. Logic errors, racial double standards, and hypocrisy are explained; bad laws that appease activist groups are deconstructed; separatist and integrationist beliefs and how they affect race perceptions are examined; and the psychology of perpetuating and sustaining racial prejudice is also reviewed. This study also reviews deceptive strategies, many of which counter capitalistic tenets, based on the pretense that racism and discrimination exist where they don't to suppress competition and extort social or economic concessions, rewards, or long-term advantage. Rational thinking is offered as one solution.

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