In recent years the difference between equality and equity have been discussed more and more. Equality is taken to be the idea that people have equal opportunity while equity is the idea that people (ought to) have equal outcomes. In the former, it means there should be no legal or political impediment to someone entering the market, whether that’s the buying and selling of goods and services or of one’s labor. The latter, equity, says that things like racial, sex/gender, and economic disparities need to be corrected through legal and political policies. But are these the only notions of equality?
John Oliver, on the season premier of his show Last Week Tonight, covered Critical Race Theory (CRT) and the moral panic over its teaching in schools. I’ve talked about this topic quite a few times on this blog. I’m by no means an expert on CRT, but I’m also not completely ignorant. So, is John Oliver’s examination accurate?
Joe Rogan, the comedian, podcaster, and UFC commentator, has been getting into hot water lately. It started with his views on COVID vaccines and other measures. Now he’s being accused of being racist. Here are some thoughts.
Woke Racism: How a New Religion Has Betrayed Black America by John McWhorter, Portfolio (October 26, 2021), 224 Pages.
There has lately been controversy about whether schools – both at the primary and secondary education level – are teaching kids critical race theory, otherwise known as CRT. School administrators and CRT theorists have both denied this, claiming that CRT is not taught to children. But this is sort of misleading.
Ludwig Wittgenstein famously talked about language as an interconnected assemblage of language games that make up a world-picture. A world-picture are all of the assumptions, norms, and grounds that a community holds as certain, and from there certain propositions in the language games the community employs will be either true or false. While I somewhat disagree with Wittgenstein’s conclusion that the truth criteria of any proposition is its proper usage within a language game, rather than the proposition’s correspondence with reality, I think his analysis gives a good framework for examining the epistemic disunity in the culture of the west.
Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity, by Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay, Copyright 2020, Pitchstone Publishing, 352 pages.
Critical Theory is a methodology of critiquing power relations within society. It takes as axiomatic the new-Marxist analysis of oppressor-oppressed dynamics being inherent in all human relationships. As such, Critical Theory is not about whether such power dynamics exist, but in what ways they manifest. There is little talk about why these dynamics manifest.