“Extremism Without Extremists”
Josh DiPaolo, Dept. of Philosophy, California State University, Fullerton
— What is extremism? A prominent philosophical analysis develops a three-part distinction between ideological, methods, and mindset extremists. However, this analysis fails to do justice to the complex relationships between extremism, behavior, and the mind. In particular, the problem with this analysis resembles problems associated with traditional accounts of racism and sexism. Racism, for example, has been thought to be a state of mind of the racist, sexism a state of mind of the sexist. But racism and sexism are not limited to racists and sexists. Similarly, I argue that extremism is not limited to extremists. Extremism can manifest in the absence of extremists. Drawing on examples of incel extremism and the extremism described in Tara Westover’s memoir Educated, I develop a more attractive account of the connections between extremism, behavior, and the mind.
Open to the public
UNLV Department of Philosophy