Lucius Outlaw and Shannon Sullivan have argued for the preservation of racial distinctiveness and the necessity of racial separatism. This paper articulates and challenges this push for racial separatism and the particular conception of race evoked therein. The author points out that the multiplicity, the multiculturalism, the intersectionality within these communities of resistance is typically belittled, fragmented, or erased. Recognizing the practical use of racial coalitions to combat racism, the author articulates an alternative conception of coalitional agency, one that allows (...) for multiplicitous identities, opening avenues to intercultural communication and impure coalitions of resistance. (shrink)
In this paper, we discuss the processes of racialisation on the example of biomedical research. We argue that applying the concept of racialisation in biomedical research can be much more precise, informative and suitable than currently used categories, such as race and ethnicity. For this purpose, we construct a model of the different processes affecting and co-shaping the racialisation of an individual, and consider these in relation to biomedical research, particularly to studies on hypertension. We finish with a discussion on (...) the potential application of our proposition to institutional guidelines on the use of racial categories in biomedical research. (shrink)
According to the mainstream narrative about race, all groups have the same innate dispositions and potential, and all disparities—at least those favoring whites—are due to past or present racism. Some people who reject this narrative gravitate toward an alternative, anti-Jewish narrative, which sees recent history in terms of a Jewish/gentile conflict. The most sophisticated promoter of the anti-Jewish narrative is the evolutionary psychologist Kevin MacDonald. MacDonald argues that Jews have a suite of genetic adaptations—including high intelligence and ethnocentrism—and cultural practices (...) that lead them to undermine gentile society to advance their own evolutionary interests. He says that Jewish-designed intellectual movements have weakened gentile identity and culture while preserving Jewish identity and separatism. Cofnas recently argued that MacDonald’s theory is based on “systematically misrepresented sources and cherry-picked facts.” However, Cofnas gave short shrift to at least three key claims: Jews are highly ethnocentric, liberal Jews hypocritically advocate liberal multiculturalism for gentiles/gentile countries but racial purity and separatism for Jews/Israel, and Jews are responsible for liberalism and mass immigration to the United States. The present paper examines these claims and concludes that MacDonald’s views are not supported. (shrink)
in early 2019, the josiah royce society arranged two Author Meets Critics sessions on Tommy J. Curry’s Another white Man’s Burden: Josiah Royce’s Quest for a Philosophy of white Racial Empire. The first was held in New York City, at the American Philosophical Association Eastern Division Meeting. The second was at the annual meeting of the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy, in Columbus, Ohio. The sessions were vibrant and well-attended. With the exception of a few tendentious questions at (...) the close of the second meeting, however, our sessions lacked the element of controversy that is customary in discussions of racism in the history of philosophy. The panelists and the audience alike rather... (shrink)
I argue that in addressing worries about the validity and reliability of implicit measures of social cognition, theorists should draw on research concerning “entitativity perception.” In brief, an aggregate of people is perceived as highly “entitative” when its members exhibit a certain sort of unity. For example, think of the difference between the aggregate of people waiting in line at a bank versus a tight-knit group of friends: The latter seems more “groupy” than the former. I start by arguing that (...) entitativity perception modulates the activation of implicit biases and stereotypes. I then argue that recognizing this modulatory role will help researchers to address concerns surrounding the validity and reliability of implicit measures. (shrink)
El artículo se propone elucidar el papel que juegan los usos de “raza” en los escritos de Nietzsche, situándolos e interpretándolos en conjunto con el léxico de transformación del ser humano y de su crítica de la cultura. Para ello, se estudia su empleo junto a otros conceptos fronterizos e ideas análogas como el tratamiento de la cuestión judía, su crítica del nacionalismo, la figura de los buenos europeos, la metáfora de la bestia rubia, los tipos humanos y el pensamiento (...) de la cría. Se concluye que “raza” posee un indudable carácter fisiológico y evolutivo, pero a través del proceso de incorporación (Einverleibung), el ámbito de la cultura y la moral intervienen de manera fundamental en su conformación, y como concepto, forma parte del mismo proyecto de transvaloración de los valores, la reforma de la cultura y de la humanidad. El artículo finaliza con una reflexión de la llamada a superar la raza (Über-Rasse). (shrink)
Race theorists have been unable to reach a consensus regarding the basic historical question, “is ‘race’ modern?” I argue that this is partly because the question itself is ambiguous. There is not really one question that race scholars are answering, but at least six. First, is the concept of race modern? Second, is there a modern concept of race that is distinct from earlier race concepts? Third, are “races” themselves modern? Fourth, are racialized groups modern? Fifth, are the means and (...) methods associated with racialization modern? And sixth, are the meanings attached to racialized traits modern? Because these questions have different answers, the debate about the historical origins of “race” cannot be resolved unless they are distinguished. I will explain the ways in which “race” is and is not modern by answering these questions, thereby offering a resolution to a seemingly intractable problem. (shrink)
This paper defends the concept of racialization against its critics. As the concept has become increasingly popular, questions about its meaning and value have been raised, and a backlash against its use has occurred. I argue that when “racialization” is properly understood, criticisms of the concept are unsuccessful. I defend a definition of racialization and identify its companion concept, “racialized group.” Racialization is often used as a synonym for “racial formation.” I argue that this is a mistake. Racial formation theory (...) is committed to racial ontology, but racialization is best understood as the process through which racialized – rather than racial – groups are formed. “Racialization” plays a unique role in the conceptual landscape, and it is a key concept for race eliminativists and anti-realists about race. (shrink)
The biological race debate is at an impasse. Issues surrounding hereditarianism aside, there is little empirical disagreement left between race naturalists and anti-realists about biological race. The disagreement is now primarily semantic. This would seem to uniquely qualify philosophers to contribute to the biological race debate. However, philosophers of race are reluctant to focus on semantics, largely because of their worries about the ‘flight to reference’. In this paper, I show how philosophers can contribute to the debate without taking the (...) flight to reference. Drawing on the theory of reference literature and the history of meaning change in science, I develop some criteria for dealing with cases where there is uncertainty about reference. I then apply these criteria to the biological race debate. All of the criteria I develop for eliminating putative kinds are met in the case of ‘race’ as understood by twentieth century geneticist Theodosius Dobzhansky and his contemporary proponents, suggesting that we should eliminate it from our biological ontology. (shrink)
This article examines the effects of globalization on changing notions of the ‘savage’. We compare discussions taking place in different contexts in the late 18th century concerning two Swedish scholars and travellers to Africa: Anders Sparrman (1748–1820), a naturalist and Linnaean disciple, and Carl Bernhard Wadström (1746–99), an engineer and economist. Both moved in Swedish Swedenborgian circles, and both became involved in the British abolitionist movement. Nevertheless, their images of African ‘Others’ diverged in crucial respects, reflecting differences in their ideological (...) outlooks, institutional affiliations, and understandings of how the world was changing. More specifically, we argue that the perception of global change brought about by a new economic framework of production and consumption provides a key for reading and comparing Wadström’s and Sparrman’s texts. Comparing their divergent uses of ‘savagery’, the article also highlights the versatility of the savage as a tool for presenting distant parts of the world to a domestic audience. (shrink)
This chapter draws questions of race into food ethics. Appropriating a conception of race articulated by Alain Locke (1885‒1954), it is suggested that racial imperialism and the attending drive to claim proprietary ownership of racialized cultural products is responsible for much of the intercultural strife and race-based injustice in the modern world. Foods and foodways, understood as cultural products, are then discussed against the backdrop of racial partisanship in the exchange and consumption of foods and cuisine. Notions of authenticity and (...) cultural appropriation are discussed in this light. It is argued that there is a place for race in the discussion of food ethics and that racial imperialism and racial partisanship in the exchange and consumption of foods should be repudiated. (shrink)
The binary between the figure of the child and the fully human being is invoked with regularity in analyses of race, yet its centrality to the conception of race has never been fully explored. For most commentators, the figure of the child operates as a metaphoric or rhetorical trope, a non-essential strategic tool in the perpetuation of White supremacy. As I show in the following, the child/human binary does not present a contingent or merely rhetorical construction but, rather, a central (...) feature of racialization. Where Black peoples are situated as objects of violence it is often precisely because Blackness has been identified with childhood and childhood is historically identified as the archetypal site of naturalized violence and servitude. I proceed by offering a historical account of how Black peoples came to inherit the subordination and dehumanization of European childhood and how White youth were subsequently spared through their partial categorization as adults. (shrink)
In this paper I defend anti-realism about race and a new theory of racialization. I argue that there are no races, only racialized groups. Many social constructionists about race have adopted racial formation theory to explain how ‘races’ are formed. However, anti-realists about race cannot adopt racial formation theory, because it assumes the reality of race. I introduce interactive constructionism about racialized groups as a theory of racialization for anti-realists about race. Interactive constructionism moves the discussion away from the dichotomous (...) (social vs. biological) metaphysics that has marred this debate, and posits that racialized groups are the joint products of a broad range of non-racial factors, which interact. (shrink)
Which types of group-typing amounts to racism? The answer seemingly has to do with deeper physical or cultural traits over which an agent has no deliberate control but which are formative of the agent. In this article, I look to the cultural or ethnic bases of division of humans into races, albeit of a specific type: a basis that sees humanity climbing in a certain, presumably improving, direction. Those ethnicities that appear not to opt for this climb are commonly presumed (...) – if tacitly – inferior. This outlook is so common, particularly in industrial, governmental, economic-developmental, academic and other intellectual and influential, high-profile institutional settings, it is hard to descry. This article aims to bring this racism, referred to as ‘pan-institutional’ because it extends from local to national and international institutions, into fuller light. The article argues that prominent pan-institutions, including government, academia and industry, work together to propagate this racism, even while these institutions aver they are spreading benevolence to less fortunate cultures, in the cause of cultural, economic and social globalization. In this way, these pan-institutions follow precisely in step with earlier colonialism and missionarism. The article ethically assesses this covert racist pan-institutional movement, reveals the quandaries that many indigenous cultures, especially foragers, face as this movement encroaches on them, and analyses how it is best understood as a refurbishing of colonialism in the name of benevolence. The argument ends by describing how such benevolent globalization builds upon misanthropy and it analyses the moral implications and why this most covert and widespread movement is, like more visible and standard racisms, wrong-headed, unethical, fatal, misanthropist and perhaps self-hating. (shrink)
This book explores the experiences and philosophical work product of mixed race philosophers, as well as possible links between the two. Some books address mixed-race identity, and some anthologies focus on mixed-race identity, but this is the first anthology on the philosophy of mixed-race, and the first anthology by mixed-race philosophers.
On 2 July 2000, Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Authority, deferred action on the petition to have Dietrich Bonhoeffer named a righteous gentile. My contention is that critics of this decision conceal a more pernicious difficulty that arises in Bonhoeffer's Lutheran legacy. David Nirenberg's recent Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition, demonstrates the history and development of such categories with particular attention to Luther. What goes unnoticed is the ongoing operations of anti-Judaism in later theologians such as Bonhoeffer. Although (...) Bonhoeffer may not have been anti-Semitic, the degree to which his theology remained bound to centuries old anti-Judaism is another matter. (shrink)
A Troublesome Inheritance, by Nicholas Wade, should be read by anyone interested in race and recent human evolution. Wade deserves credit for challenging the popular dogma that biological differences between groups either don't exist or cannot explain the relative success of different groups at different tasks. Wade's work should be read alongside another recent book, The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution, by Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending. Together, these books represent a major turning point in the public (...) debate about the speed with which relatively isolated groups can evolve: both books suggest that small genetic differences between members of different groups can have large impacts on their abilities and propensities, which in turn affect the outcomes of the societies in which they live. (shrink)
After a brief summary of the 17 essays in Sally Haslanger’s (2012) collection, Resisting Reality: Social Construction and Social Critique, I raise questions in two areas, the defense of constructionism and the definition of gender and race in terms of social oppression. I cite Robin Andreasen’s and Philip Kitcher’s essays arguing (in different ways) that races are both biologically real and socially constructed, and also Joshua Glasgow’s claim that constructionist arguments ultimately fail. I then cite Jennifer Saul’s critique that “oppression” (...) definitions of gender and race run into problematic counterexamples, and add some other points arising from the different histories of gender and racial categories and realities. As someone sympathetic to constructionism myself, my aim is not a critique of Haslanger but rather an inquiry as to how she thinks (we) constructionists should answer such challenges. (shrink)
Explication of the concept of socialrace: the concept variously refers to (1) a social group that is taken to be a racialist race, (2) the social position occupied by a particular social group that is a socialrace and (3) the system of social positions that are socialraces. Socialrace is distinguished from other more familiar forms of social construction. The sense in which socialrace counts as a race concept is explained. The advantages of the term ‘socialrace’ are discussed. The desiderata for (...) a conception of socialrace are articulated. The concept socialrace is contrasted with other similar concepts. (shrink)
The idea that genuinely racial thinking is a modern invention is widespread in the humanities and social sciences. However, it is not always clear exactly what the content of such a conceptual break is supposed to be. One suggestion is that with the scientific revolution emerged a conception of human groups that possessed essences that were thought to explain group-typical features of individuals as well the accumulated products of cultures or civilizations. However, recent work by cognitive and evolutionary psychologists suggests (...) that such essentialism is a product of culturally canalized, domain-specific, and species-typical features of human psychology. This suggests that one common explanation of the content of a break in racial thinking is wrong, and casts some doubt on the thesis that genuinely racial thinking is a culturally and historically local invention. (shrink)
Abstract The phenomenological approach to racialization needs to be supplemented by a hermeneutics that examines the history of the various categories in terms of which people see and have seen race. An investigation of this kind suggests that instead of the rigid essentialism that is normally associated with the history of racism, race predominantly operates as a border concept, that is to say, a dynamic fluid concept whose core lies not at the center but at its edges. I illustrate this (...) by an examination of the history of the distinctions between the races as it is revealed in legal, scientific, and philosophical sources. I focus especially on racial distinctions in the United States and on the way that the impact of miscegenation was negotiated leading to the so-called one-drop rule. (shrink)
Recently the idea that race is biologically real has gained more traction. One argument against this claim is that the populations identified by science do not sufficiently map onto the concept of race as deployed in the relevant racial discourse, namely folk racial discourse. Call that concept the concept of race-f. Robin Andreasen (2005) argues that this "mismatch" criticism fails, on a variety of grounds including: ordinary folk semantically defer to scientists; scientists can disagree about facts; historians disagree about the (...) origins of the term 'race'; 'race' has had a diversity of meanings; some of those meanings privileges geography over visible traits; and that the scientific definition of 'race' is autonomous from the folk definition of 'race.' It is argued here that all of these responses to the mismatch criticism do not succeed, and that the last in fact vindicates it. Similar arguments to the last, autonomy argument, are also examined. (shrink)
I argue that we do not get an adequate picture of society from liberal conceptions of race and racism. What this analysis does, then, is call for a synthesis of historical, social, and cultural insights to inform and enrich the philosophical conception of race and racism.
This article introduces some of the key philosophical contributions of W. E. B. Du Bois. Du Bois studied with Santayana and William James (among others), but chose social science, social theory, journalism, and activism over academic philosophy. Despite this detour, the philosophic depth of his work has won the attention of scholars in fields such as history, English, post‐colonial theory, African‐American Studies, American philosophy, and Africana philosophy, and it has belatedly begun to attract the interest of philosophers more generally. This (...) brief overview will explore the philosophical dimensions of some of Du Bois’s best‐known positions – his claims about the ‘color line’ and the Talented Tenth, his argument with Booker T. Washington, and his account of double‐consciousness. These positions open onto a rich constellation of views in social ontology, epistemology, political theory, existential phenomenology, and more besides. (shrink)
Joshua Glasgow has written a wonderful book on race (Glasgow 2009). Thoughtful, clear, and provocative, it advances the discussion in significant ways. Space is limited so I hope I can be excused for restricting my comments to Glasgow’s assessment of my 2003 Journal of Philosophy analysis of the ordinary concept of race. The last thing I would want to suggest is that this exhausts the interest of his book; for that is certainly not the case. My remarks can be regarded (...) as testimony to just how stimulating his fine account is. (shrink)
Analyzing racial concepts has become an important task in the philosophy of race. Aside from any inherent interest that might be found in the meanings of racial terms, these meanings also can spell the doom or deliverance of competing ontological and normative theories about race. One of the most pressing questions about race at present is the normative question of whether race should be eliminated from, or conserved in, public discourse and practice. This normative question is often answered in part (...) by appealing to the ontological status of race: if race is an illusion, then it should be eliminated, and if it is real, then it can be conserved. 1 Thus, for.. (shrink)
In this review essay, Barbara Applebaum uses white complicity as a framework for discussing three books: Mica Pollock’s Colormute: Race Talk Dilemmas in an American School, Debra Van Ausdale and Joe R. Feagin’s The First R: How Children Learn Race and Racist, and Virginia Lea and Judy Helfand’s Identifying Race and Transforming Whiteness in the Classroom. She explains the notion of white complicity and discusses some of the deep philosophical questions involving moral responsibility and agency that arise when one acknowledges (...) white complicity. In particular, she examines the question of whether complicity is best described as grounded in individual intention or as an outcome of collective action, as well as whether “complicity” as a word displaces the strong sense of harm implied by the term “racist.” Finally, Applebaum explores how some of these philosophical questions crisscross through the discussions highlighted in the three books. (shrink)
Social conditions of race and class continue to combine in ways that raise systemic questions about the adequacy and legitimacy of liberal, capitalist democracy in America. More radical alternatives, however, are still generally held to be irrelevant in the American context. The following is an effort to correct this widespread misrepresentation of socialism’s relevance to America generally, and to matters of race in particular. I consider the work of C.L.R. James who, fifty years ago, developed a class-oriented, explicitly Marxist theory (...) in which the aspirations and struggles of African-Americans were given a central place, both analytically and politically. (shrink)
In this essay, I contend that feminist theories of citizenship in the U.S. context must go beyond simply acknowledging the importance of race and grapple explicitly with the legacies of slavery. To sketch this case, I draw upon W.E.B. Du Bois's "The Damnation of Women," which explores the significance for all Americans of African American women's sexual, economic, and political lives under slavery and in its aftermath.
In biology, race can be defined as a geographically bounded population showing accentuated genetic differentiation. It is believed that the division of human species into "races" presents solid biological base. However, there are problems over using this term. The present work aims to point out some of the difficulties of using the concept of races for the human species, using a biological approach. The race concept is typological, imprecise, based on subjective concepts, and can suffer different interpretations according to the (...) criteria used, who is using it, and even the time and place of the determination. The chosen characteristics for the conception of races are usually in accordance to the convenience of the user, based on external and extremely complex morphologic criteria, with little support of genetic knowledge. This concept is also static, and does not represent the modifications and evolution of human populations, with the same evolutionary origin. Most populations are not circumscribed, so that there is genetic flux among them, leading to genetic differences not big enough to support the sub-division of the human species into races. The genetic differences among human groups are smaller then between individuals of the same population. From this biological point of view, the existing inconsistency for the classification of the human species in different races, make the morphological criteria used nowadays nonsense. (shrink)
The Multicultural Imagination is a challenging inquiry into the complex interrelationship between our ideas about race, color and the unconscious. Drawing on clinical case material, Michael Vannoy Adams argues that race is just as important as sex or any other content of the unconscious. He does not assume that racism will simply vanish if we psychoanalyze a patient, but shows how a non-defensive ego and a self-image that is receptive to other-images can move us towards a more productive discourse of (...) cultural differences. The Multicultural Imagination provokes the reader--analyst or not--to confront personally those unconscious attitudes which stand in the way of authentic multicultural relationships. (shrink)
Philosophers and scientists have historically conceptualized race according to two main metaphors; internal differentiation (theological, philosophical and genetic), and external differentiation (environmental). This paper examines these metaphors and theories in Descartes, Kant, Hegel, and also Darwin and the subsequent racial theories of recent history. The paper argues that the externalist metaphor has a more liberal and potentially egalitarian tradition.