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So any moves to shutting down discussion and scaring people off working on the topic are mistakes, and harmful in their own right.But let’s take seriously the idea that there is no such distinction, that everything is at least potentially political.That is to say, that although Tuvel herself thinks we have good reasons to accept transgender identities, and that those same reasons support accepting ‘transracial’ identities, others may take the parallel as a .Many people find ‘transracial’ claims absurd, so drawing a parallel between the two might have the effect of weakening the former rather than strengthening the latter.Doing so may help to overcome the epistemic limitations imposed by privilege; it might throw up considerations not readily accessible from the armchair.Tuvel offered four ‘ethical arguments against transracialism’.

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I’ve always found these kinds of worries to be exaggerated, because of the extremely low public readership of papers in Philosophy (not to mention that Hypatia papers, in the specific case at issue here, are not open access).That is for the journal to negotiate with its authors. Even if the paper had been published in , Philosophy’s problem of being dominated at all levels by cisgender white men entails that many members of marginalized groups (including trans black people) will be located outside the discipline, and so, conversely, work done outside the discipline may in fact be philosopy.In that case, the problem of whose work must be read and engaged with becomes a lot more difficult.So we have to figure out the probability of anyone with political influence actually bothering to read Tuvel’s paper, and the probability of this changing their mind about anything enough to change the actual political situation, either for black people or for trans people.Somewhat ironically, the probabilities were incredibly low before all of this blew up online. Perhaps it’s too quick to suggest that the correct response to an offensive paper is to ignore it, rather than to draw attention to it.