Not only did she inspire this section of my site but she’s also really friggin’ cool and a brilliant scholar. Myisha Cherry works on moral psychology and social and political philosophy, and she created the UnMute Podcast. I’ve not had the opportunity to get to know her but I admire her so much because she’s exactly the kind of philosopher I strive to be: a public philosopher. Engaging with her work and hearing a bit about her years of teaching from friends has prompted me to ask (quite often) what does it take to be a public philosopher?
If I could offer one takeaway from all of the stuff I know about her work, it would be that philosophy will always be good for conceptual assessment and reflection but that’s not all it’s good for. Thinking philosophically about psychology, wrongdoing, and justice must happen. But we also need to do something to change the world. How do we respond to state violence? How do we bring about justice after major injustices occur? It turns out that philosophy can help us do the conceptual work and the practical work that’s necessary to effect real change.