Metaphors of Race: Theoretical Presuppositions behind Racism

American Philosophical Quarterly 32 (1):13 - 29 (1995)
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Abstract

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.

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Stephen Asma
Columbia College Chicago

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