CORVALLIS, Ore. - Andrew Valls, who teaches political philosophy at Oregon State University, has edited a collection of essays, "Race and Racism in Modern Philosophy," newly released by Cornell University Press.
The collection addresses the issue of whether modern philosophy is racist and whether legendary Western philosophers such as Descartes and Hobbes support racist ideology or advance ideas that lead to the critique and rejection of racism.
The book brings together essays on the writings of seminal thinkers to trace the issue of race and explore its influence on modern philosophical inquiry. From Locke's treatment of slavery to Nietzsche's "racial profiling," the collection illustrates the complex relationship between race and philosophy.
The book edited by Valls' already has drawn praise from scholars. Lucius T. Outlaw Jr. of Vanderbilt University said, "The analyses and explorations at the heart of this book are long overdue: They emerge from and contribute substantively to ongoing discussions and critiques of canonical figures of modern ('Western') philosophy with regard to these figures' notions of race and the relevance of and impact on their philosophizing of these notions."
Valls, an assistant professor of political science, specializes in research on liberal and democratic theory, race and racial justice, and the ethics of political violence. He earned his Ph.D. in political science at the University of Pittsburgh and has taught at OSU since 2003.