Critical Race Structuralism and Non-Ideal Theory

In Hilkje Hänel & Johanna Müller (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Non-Ideal Theory. Routledge (forthcoming)
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Ideal theory in social and political philosophy generally works to hide philosophical theories’ complicity in sustaining the structural violence and maintenance of white supremacy that are foundational to settler colonial societies. While non-ideal theory can provide a corrective to some of ideal theory’s intended omissions, it can also work to conceal the same systems of violence that ideal theory does, especially when framed primarily as a response to ideal theory. This article takes a decolonial approach to exploring the limitations of non-ideal theory in its ability to respond to and redress the continuing harms done to Indigenous peoples by settler colonialism, including by outlining non-ideal theory’s relationship to a colonial politics of recognition.

Author Profiles

Elena Ruíz
Michigan State University
Nora Berenstain
University of Tennessee, Knoxville


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