Eva Feder Kittay’s wisdom

The Watchlist Redux got covered in today’s Inside Higher Ed. One of our favorite radicals was interviewed,

Eva Feder Kittay, a distinguished professor of philosophy at the State University at New York at Stony Brook, was named to the Redux list of contemporary scholars for “teaching us a lot about what it is to be human.” Much of her work centers on disability and moral status. She isn’t on the original watch list but said via email that it’s “appalling and contrary to everything we want this country to stand for. Teaching — especially, but not only — philosophy (my intellectual home) must wake us from our slumbers, must provoke, excite, cause us to reflect and, when possible, to act to make the world a better place. If not, then what is love of wisdom for?”

Kittay said she worried about current political rhetoric and cited Eugène Ionesco’s The Rhinoceros. In the play, a rhinoceros charges through a town, causing residents to argue about how it got there. One by one, the villagers all transform into charging beasts. “If we don’t speak up against watch lists, we might all become raging rhinoceroses,” she said.

Agreed! Let’s not charge. Let’s just ridicule so we don’t become rhinoceroses ourselves.

If only satire could be like anti-matter. Come up against something evil, make fun of it, and poof it goes away. We can only hope.

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