Over the past few days, many members of the philosophical community have been expressing disappointment, sadness, and outrage over the recent controversy concerning the journal Hypatia‘s publication of “In Defense of Transracialism,” by Rebecca Tuvel (Rhodes College), and the journal’s response to criticism for publishing it. As more than one person put it, the situation is “a mess.”
It needn’t be a useless mess, though. It would be good if something constructive came of it.
In a Facebook update earlier today, Lisa Miracchi (University of Pennsylvania) raised a question I thought would be worth sharing with the broader philosophical community:
The central question raised by Tuvel’s article and Hypatia’s handling of it is: what standards of care and scholarship are required when working academically on social justice issues (as author, referee, editor, etc.), especially when one is not a member of the underrepresented groups being discussed? This is an incredibly important and pressing question for us to talk about, and I do not want it to get lost here.
I appreciate Professor Miracchi’s permission to post her question here, and welcome constructive discussion of it.
(If you happen to think that this question is not worth asking, please do not bother taking up space in the comments to say so. If you think other questions are worth asking, feel free to email them to me as suggestions for future posts. Thanks.)