The general theme of my research is to interrogate existing legal, moral, and sociopolitical paradigms (laws, policies, theories of knowledge, theories of reality, moral and sociopolitical theories) to determine the extent to which these paradigms facilitate positive outcomes for the marginalized, oppressed, and subjugated (particularly persons of color and women). As regards legal paradigms (laws), my method of analysis is legal hermeneutics. For example, in my dissertation, The Hermeneutics of Equal Protection Analysis, I used the tools of legal hermeneutics (e.g., a focus on sociohistorical context, an examination of legislative history, an acknowledgment that all legal interpretation is time- and space-specific, and a search for the “spirit” or general purpose of the law in question) to examine the relationship between the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution and laws or policies that discriminate on the basis of race, gender, and sexual orientation (and any other marginalized status). As regards moral and sociopolitical paradigms, my method of analysis includes insights from philosophy of race, feminist philosophy, ethical theory, and communitarian themes in political philosophy (particularly the concept of the socialized self). Where a given paradigm is found lacking, I advocate alternative approaches or paradigm shifts designed to more fully protect members of marginalized populations. In the process, I hope to derive legal interpretations that enhance the overall well-being of the larger social systems of which a given marginalized population is a part. Through pursuing particularized lines of inquiry (e.g., the way in which a particular law affects persons of color or women), the hope is that important lessons are derived regarding metaphilosophical topics such as methodology that will prove useful to the solution of more universal social problems (e.g., poverty, world hunger, human rights, global warming, health care, animal rights).
Botts, Tina F. “In Black and White: A Hermeneutic Argument Against Transracialism,” Res Philosophica, Volume 95, Issue 2, April 2018.
Botts, Tina F. “Race and Method: The Tuvel Affair,” Philosophy Today, Volume 62, Winter 2018.
Botts, Tina F. “Boylan’s Agency Justification for Natural Human Rights and Group Rights,” in The Journal of Applied Ethics and Philosophy, Vol. 8, September 2016, pp. 16-22.
Botts, Tina F. “Legal Hermeneutics,” Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ISSN 2161-0002, November 2015.
Botts, Tina F., Liam Kofi Bright, Myisha Cherry, Guntur Mallarangeng, and Quayshawn Spencer. Research Note: “What is the State of Blacks in Philosophy?” Critical Philosophy of Race, Volume 2, Issue 2, 2014.
Fernandes (Botts), Tina. “Antidiscrimination Law and the Multiracial Experience: A Reply to Nancy Leong,” 10 Hastings Race and Poverty Law Journal, 191-218, Summer 2013.
Botts, Tina F., “Dasein and Intersectional Identity,” in Heidegger and the Human, Ingo Farin and Jeff Malpas, eds. (forthcoming, SUNY).
Botts, Tina F., “Gadamer and Race Theory” in The Gadamerian Mind, Theodore George and Gert-Jan van der Heiden, eds. (Abingdon/Oxfordshire: Routledge, August 10, 2021).
Botts, Tina F. “The Genealogy and Viability of the Concept of Intersectionality” in The Routledge Companion to Feminist Philosophy, Ann Garry, Serene J. Khader, and Alison Stone, eds. London: Taylor and Francis, July 2017, pp. 343-357.
Botts, Tina F. “The Concept of Race and Equal Protection Law” in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Race, Naomi Zack, editor, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, December 2016, pp. 526-536.
Botts, Tina F. “Multiracial Americans and Racial Discrimination” in Race Policy and Multiracial Americans, Kathleen Korgen, ed. Bristol, UK: Policy Press, January 2016, pp. 81-100.
Botts, Tina F. “Hermeneutics, Race, and Gender,” in The Routledge Companion to Hermeneutics, Jeff Malpas and Hans-Helmuth Gander, eds., London: Taylor and Francis, 2014, pp. 498-518.
Botts, Tina F. and Rosemarie Tong. “Women of Color Feminisms” in Tong, Rosemarie, Feminist Thought. 4th Edition. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2013, pp. 211-253.
Botts, Tina F. Review of Saving the Security State: Exceptional Citizens in Twenty-First Century America, by Inderpal Grewal, Duke University Press, 2017, Hypatia Reviews Online, June 2019.
Botts, Tina F. Review of Backlash: What Happens When We Talk Honestly About Racism in America by George Yancy, Rowman & Littlefield, 2018, philoSOPHIA: A Journal of Continental Feminism, 9.1, Winter 2019, pp. 166-173.
Botts, Tina F. Review of A Hermeneutic Approach to Gender and Other Social Identities by Lauren Swayne Barthold, Palgrave MacMillan, 2016, APA Newsletter on Feminism and Philosophy, Fall 2017, p. 17.
Botts, Tina F. Review of Why Race and Gender Still Matter: An Intersectional Approach, edited by Namita Goswami, Maeve O’Donovan, and Lisa Yount, Pickering & Chato, 2014, Hypatia Reviews Online, 2015.
Botts, Tina F. Review of The Philosophy of Race by Albert Atkin, Acumen Publishing, 2012, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, June 13, 2013.
The thesis of Hate Speech and Social Harm is that hate speech causes social harm, sufficient to rise to the level of justifying legal regulation in the United States. By “hate speech” is meant expressive words or actions that malign, degrade, insult or otherwise attack the human dignity of one or more members a marginalized, oppressed, or subjugated group in virtue of the member(s)’ membership in said group(s). The book draws on both philosophical and legal scholarship to support this thesis. The philosophical scholarship is rooted in John Stuart Mill’s harm principle and the legal scholarship relies on a comparison of American law to European law (particularly holocaust analysis) on the topic of the basis for regulation.
Race and American Law: A Deeper Look is a philosophical inquiry into the relationship between race and American law through the examination of six specific American laws that are curiously incoherent (either facially or as applied) and at the same time involve the concept of race or affect the lives of racialized persons (persons assigned a non-white race within American culture). Guided by methodological interpretive tools grounded in legal hermeneutics, the book will conduct an investigation into the legislative history of these laws, the sociohistorical and sociocultural contexts in which each of these laws was enacted, how each of the laws has been applied over time, and the effect of each of the laws on racialized persons in the United States. Three federal laws and three state laws will be examined in this way with an eye on reform.
A classic resource on feminist theory, the 6th edition of Feminist Thought includes significant revision to update this classic text to the 21st century context. Significant new material on queer theory, trans identities, 3rd and 4th wave feminism, and women of color feminisms strengthens the previous material and enhances the book’s status as one of the “go to” texts for teaching feminist theory in the discipline of philosophy, in women’s and gender studies, and beyond.
Philosophies of Race: Classical and Contemporary Perspectives is designed to be the first textbook on philosophy of race from a variety of methodological perspectives (including analytic philosophy, continental philosophy, and American pragmatism) for undergraduate courses therein, on all levels. The book provides a comprehensive overview of the origins, the established areas and emerging topics in philosophy of race, and, importantly, thematically weaves together philosophy of race from the perspective of a variety of philosophical traditions.