|Abstract||Racism is a problem with many facets, and a strategy of divide and conquer is useful in making the problem more tractable. One facet, which is also a core question of contemporary social morality, concerns how we ought to handle racial categorization, by which we mean, for instance, thinking of a person as black, Korean, Latino, white, etc. While it is widely agreed that racial categorization played a crucial role in past racial oppression, there remains wide disagreement among philosophers and social theorists about a role for racial categorization in future endeavors. At one extreme of this disagreement are short-term eliminativists who want to eliminate racial categorization relatively quickly (e.g. Appiah 1995, D’Souza 1996, Muir 1993, Wasserstrom 2001 (1980), Webster 1992, Zack 1993, 2002), typically because they view it as mistaken and oppressive. At the opposite extreme, long-term conservationists hold that racial identities and communities are beneficial and that racial categorization – suitably reformed – is essential to fostering them (e.g. Outlaw 1990, 1995, 1996). In between these two poles, there are many who believe that racial categorization is valuable (and perhaps necessary).|
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