ISBN: 0865437556
Whereas the subject of white racism has generally been approached more or less strictly from the standpoint of various social sciences, this book is uniquely philosophical in its treatment. It goes beyond the accepted view that white racism, though serious and unrelenting, is merely either a sort of temporal, cultural or moral psychological failure, which serves simultaneously to give meaning and significance to white people and to hamper black progress in significant ways. It also argues that white racism is a symptom of a more devastating pathology, mainly ressentiment. The phenomenon of ressentiment, diagnosed as a self-poisoning of the mind arising from the European’s sense of weakness and self-inferiority, was brought to philosophical consciousness by Friedrich Nietzche and given sociological currency by the German phenomenologist, Max Scheler. Ephraim argues that it is also revealed as pathology in Freud’s cultural analyses and in the rationalist interpretation of philosophy of history, particularly Hegel’s version.

Tracing the philosophical roots of this pathology to the metaphysics of Plato, which was the first explicit attempt to mark a clear distinction between "superior" and "inferior" forms of reality, the author illustrates how ressentiment manifested its pathological roots in hardened ideology and practice of white racism over time.

Finally, Ephraim argues that the burden and responsibility of being black in this Eurocentrically conceived world consist, in part, in unlearning the lessons of black inferiority, in attaining self-knowledge by way of coming to terms with the true history of Africa and Africans and in teaching this history to the non-black world, which has to a large extent been infected by the illusion of a universal European value paradigm.

Product details

  • Publisher : Africa World Pr (February 1, 2003)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 468 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0865437556
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0865437555
  • Item Weight : 1.44 pounds
  • Dimensions : 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
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