APA interviews Cody C. Dout

Submitted by Kate Goldyn on

The APA interviewed graduate student Cody C. Dout about his philosophical work, which examines “the tacit assumptions within white-dominated philosophical literatures and aims to show how arguments within these encounter moral and epistemic limits when it comes to the theorization of Black life in America.” APA profiles help members get to know fellow philosophers better and build community and connections.

What excites you about philosophy?

I grew up in “inner-city” Baltimore. And contrary to what a lot of people think, Black folks, including in impoverished communities, are constantly engaging in theory. I grew up surrounded by philosophical debates about issues that affect Black people. We discussed the efficacy of civil disobedience, the merits of assimilation, the relationship between individual responsibility and structural influence, and the extent to which Black interests align with the interests of other minority groups, among other topics. Working in academic philosophy allows me to bring points of view to the fore that don’t generally make it out of my community. In a way, I see myself as a translator, or articulator, of the Black experience. People in my community have a strong tradition of intellectual engagement, including engagement with many commonly read texts of Black thought, and other long debated topics in philosophy. However, as Malcom X pointed out, injustice renders Black realities and the Black points of views to which these give rise invisible to people who are arguably in the best position to affect concrete changes in my community. In short, philosophy gives me the opportunity to speak “truth to power.”

Read the complete interview with Cody Dout here: “APA Member Interview: Cody C. Dout.”