Racist symbols: Reply to George Schedler

A symbol might have racist connotations in the sense that a substantial portion of the relevant population associates it with racist values or institutions. A governmental symbol display might therefore carry racist connotations that the government doesn’t intend, including connotations that haven’t always been attached to the symbol. So I claimed recently in the pages of this journal (Alter 2000b). I also explained how those claims create problems for some of George Schedler’s (1998) main views about governmental displays of the Confederate battle flag. In his response, Schedler rejects my claims, arguing that they lead to absurdities when applied to various examples. He adds that one of his examples brings into question my “political savvy” (Schedler 2000, p. 5). Be that as it may, his arguments against my claims are entirely without force, and serve to confirm the weakness of his initial position. So I’ll argue. I’ll also identify a problematic assumption in our dispute, which is not uncommon in discussions of symbolic meaning and racist speech.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index Translate to english
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Stephen Kershnar (2001). The Case Against Reparations. Philosophy in the Contemporary World 8 (1):41-46.
George Schedler (2000). Minorities and Racist Symbols. Philosophy in the Contemporary World 7 (2/3):5-10.
Torin Alter (2000). Symbolic Meaning and the Confederate Battle Flag. Philosophy in the Contemporary World 7 (2/3):1-4.
Torin Alter (2000). On Racist Symbols and Reparations. Social Theory and Practice 26 (1):153-171.
George Kelsey (1978). The Racist Search for the Self. Journal of Religious Ethics 6 (2):240 - 256.
Michael Philips (1984). Racist Acts And Racist Humor. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 14 (March):75-96.
Steven Gimbel (2004). The Greening of White Pride. Philosophy and Geography 7 (1):123-140.
George Schedler (2001). Are Confederate Monuments Racist? International Journal of Applied Philosophy 15 (2):287-308.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

6 ( #336,406 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)


How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.