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Philosophy in a Meaningless Life
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ISBN: 1474247687 1350017515 1474247695 1474247679 1474247709 Year: 2016 Publisher: London, England Bloomsbury Academic

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Ontological terror : Blackness, nihilism, and emancipation
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ISBN: 0822370727 0822371847 0822370875 9780822371847 Year: 2018 Publisher: Durham : Duke University Press,

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In Ontological Terror Calvin L. Warren intervenes in Afro-pessimism, Heideggerian metaphysics, and black humanist philosophy by positing that the "Negro question" is intimately imbricated with questions of Being. Warren uses the figure of the antebellum free black as a philosophical paradigm for thinking through the tensions between blackness and Being. He illustrates how blacks embody a metaphysical nothing. This nothingness serves as a destabilizing presence and force as well as that which whiteness defines itself against. Thus, the function of blackness as giving form to nothing presents a terrifying problem for whites: they need blacks to affirm their existence, even as they despise the nothingness they represent. By pointing out how all humanism is based on investing blackness with nonbeing - a logic which reproduces antiblack violence and precludes any realization of equality, justice, and recognition for blacks - Warren urges the removal of the human from its metaphysical pedestal and the exploration of ways of existing that are not predicated on a grounding in being.

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