Husserl and Racism at the Level of Passive Synthesis

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Taylor & Francis
A number of philosophers within critical race theory use phenomenology to describe the way in which their identities are always already constituted as delinquent within the consciousness of white people (prior to any active reflection), and how their own identity fractures in relation to this white gaze – a fracturing that creates unspeakable ontological, and ultimately physical violence. Though these philosophers are already doing phenomenology in their work, there is a deeper level of analysis that has yet to be given. Specifically, an account has not yet been provided as regards the production of the white gaze within the consciousness of white people. That is, how is an already racialized world of experience produced priorto any active reflection? In this essay, I engage George Yancy’s famous elevator example, using Edmund Husserl’s concepts of apperception, internal time consciousness and passive synthesis to give a phenomenological description of the production of a pre-reflective racialized world.
Racism, Phenomenology
Nethery, H. A. (2018). Husserl and Racism at the Level of Passive Synthesis. Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology, 49(4), 280–290.