Acta Cogitata: An Undergraduate Journal in Philosophy


This paper focuses on a specific type of knowledge, this being the type of knowledge that allows for the ability of an individual to know another person. I analyzed Shannon Sullivan’s book Revealing Whiteness: The Unconscious Habits of Racial Privilege to gain insight into an individuals ability to know another person. Within the text, I concentrated on the first chapter “Ignorance and Habit”, and the argument Sullivan articulates in this chapter. This argument is in regard to the consequence of what Sullivan describes as white solipsism and how it can cause unconscious habits. To better display Sullivan’s argument, I used the epistemic framework articulated in Bernard Lonergan’s cognitional theory and his three stages of knowing. These stages of Experience, Understanding, and Judging, were used to explain how white solipsism could affect a white person’s ability as a knower in the first stage of Experience. From this, I described how white solipsism causes the inability of a white person to have knowledge of people of different racial backgrounds from themselves. Ultimately, I conclude that white solipsism causes white people to have false knowledge because they are no longer looking for new experiences and that white solipsism causes ignorance and epistemic blindness regarding alternate viewpoints.

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