The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Soul-blindness, police orders and Black Lives Matter: Wittgenstein, Cavell, and Rancière

Soul-blindness, police orders and Black Lives Matter: Wittgenstein, Cavell, and Rancière
Soul-blindness, police orders and Black Lives Matter: Wittgenstein, Cavell, and Rancière
What does it mean to see someone as human, as a member of humankind? What kind of call for justice is it to demand that a group be seen as human beings? This article explores a fundamental kind of injustice: one of perception and how we respond to our perceptions. Drawing on Cavell, Wittgenstein and Rancière we elucidate “soul blindness” as a distinct and basic form of injustice. Rancière’s police orders and Cavell’s soul blindness are mutually constitutive; the undoing of police orders entails a politics of soul dawning. Soul dawning entails acknowledging the humanity of others without erasing difference. In the concluding section we consider white obliviousness to the Black Lives Matters (BLM) movement as a case of soul blindness. Part of the political import of BLM is its capacity to illustrate how practices of soul blindness in the U.S. constitute whiteness in a racialized police order.
0090-5917
739-763
Havercroft, Jonathan
929f9452-daf9-4859-9f59-88348846949a
Owen, David
9fc71bca-07d1-44af-9248-1b9545265a58
Havercroft, Jonathan
929f9452-daf9-4859-9f59-88348846949a
Owen, David
9fc71bca-07d1-44af-9248-1b9545265a58

Havercroft, Jonathan and Owen, David (2016) Soul-blindness, police orders and Black Lives Matter: Wittgenstein, Cavell, and Rancière. Political Theory, 44 (6), 739-763. (doi:10.1177/0090591716657857).

Record type: Article

Abstract

What does it mean to see someone as human, as a member of humankind? What kind of call for justice is it to demand that a group be seen as human beings? This article explores a fundamental kind of injustice: one of perception and how we respond to our perceptions. Drawing on Cavell, Wittgenstein and Rancière we elucidate “soul blindness” as a distinct and basic form of injustice. Rancière’s police orders and Cavell’s soul blindness are mutually constitutive; the undoing of police orders entails a politics of soul dawning. Soul dawning entails acknowledging the humanity of others without erasing difference. In the concluding section we consider white obliviousness to the Black Lives Matters (BLM) movement as a case of soul blindness. Part of the political import of BLM is its capacity to illustrate how practices of soul blindness in the U.S. constitute whiteness in a racialized police order.

Text
SoulBlindnessPTFinalAcceptedVersion.pdf - Accepted Manuscript
Download (247kB)

More information

Accepted/In Press date: 1 June 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 3 August 2016
Published date: 1 December 2016
Organisations: Politics & International Relations

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 396238
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/396238
ISSN: 0090-5917
PURE UUID: 7d692b5e-5483-4ca3-bff2-a09a4db94539
ORCID for Jonathan Havercroft: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-0995-8912
ORCID for David Owen: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8865-6332

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 06 Jun 2016 11:00
Last modified: 28 Apr 2022 05:59

Export record

Altmetrics

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×