This study explores the effect of individuation training on the acquisition of race-specific expertise. First, we investigated whether practice individuating other-race faces yields improvement in perceptual discrimination for novel faces of that race. Second, we asked whether there was similar improvement for novel faces of a different race for which participants received equal practice, but in an orthogonal task that did not require individuation. Caucasian participants were trained to individuate faces of one race (African (...) American or Hispanic) and to make difficult eye-luminance judgments on faces of the other race. By equating these tasks we are able to rule out raw experience, visual attention, or performance/success-induced positivity as the critical factors that produce race-specific improvements. These results indicate that individuation practice is one mechanism through which cognitive, perceptual, and/or social processes promote growth of the own-race face recognition advantage. (shrink)
This critical examination of racial equality takes a new approach to breaking down racial barriers by proposing a system of equal opportunity through shared labor and contributive justice. Focuses on how race and class inevitably structure vastly unequal life prospects Shows how human society can be organized in a way that does not socialize children for lives of routine labour Looks towards contribution, not distribution, as a way to promote racial equality Argues that by sharing routine and complex labor, (...) social relationships would be transformed, eliminating competition for limited opportunities to develop and contribute abilities A discussion board for ideas and comments relating to the book can be found at: http://howtomakeopportunityequal.blogspot.com/. (shrink)
Rapid actions to persons holding weapons were simulated using desktop virtual reality. Subjects responded to simulated (a) criminals, by pointing the computerÕs mouse at them and left-clicking (simulated shooting), (b) fellow police officers, by pressing the spacebar (safety signal), and (c) citizens, by inaction. In one of two tasks Black males holding guns were police officers while White males holding guns were criminals. In the other, Whites with guns were police and Blacks with guns were criminals. In both tasks Blacks (...) or Whites holding harmless objects were citizens. Signal detection analyses revealed two race effects that led to Blacks being incorrectly shot at more than Whites: a perceptual sensitivity effect (when held by Blacks guns were less distinguishable from harmless objects) and a response bias effect (objects held by Blacks were more likely to be treated as guns). Ó 2003 Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved. (shrink)
This is a critical discussion of the Baldus study of capital sentencing in Georgia. It concludes that the Baldus finding of a "race-of-the-victim" effect is less robust than capital-punishment abolitionists have claimed. But the flaws in the Baldus study should not comfort death-penalty advocates, for they reveal an epistemological barrier to the US Supreme Court's ever being able to satisfy itself both that the sentence reflects particularized consideration of the circumstances and character of the defendant (mandated by Woodson v (...) North Carolina) and that it is not the product of racial bias (condemned in Furman v Georgia and Gregg v Georgia). (shrink)
This article provides the theoretical resources to resolve a number of conundrums in the work of William Julius Wilson and John Ogbu. Contrary to what Wilson's and Ogbu's work sometimes imply, inner-city blacks are not enmeshed in a "culture of poverty," but rather are generally committed to mainstream values and their normative expectations. Activities that deviate from these values derive from the cognitive expectations inner-city blacks have formed in the face of their restricted legitimate opportunity structures. These expectations, which suggest (...) that educational and occupational success are improbable for inner-city residents, are accurate. If their opportunities were to improve, their cognitive expectations would change and most would be committed to taking advantage of these new opportunities. The differences that separate the inner-city poor from whites center on cultural symbols, which help constitute their identity, sometimes in opposition to the white majority. Most deficiencies in performance among blacks stem not from these cultural attributes, but from the way they are processed in white-dominated organizations. Given a majority commitment to equal opportunity and a majority belief that blacks actually have equal opportunity, many conclude from their performance that blacks are in some sense inferior. This "new racism" overdetermines the performance of blacks. (shrink)
This anthology of contemporary articles (and court cases provides a philosophical analysis of race, sex and gender concepts and issues. Divided into three relatively independent yet thematically linked sections, the anthology first addresses identity issues, then injustices and inequalities, and then specific social and legal issues relevant to race, sex and gender. By exposing readers to both theoretical foundations, opposing views, and "real life" applications, the anthology prepares them to make critically reasoned decisions concerning today's race, gender (...) and sex social issues. Sex and Gender Identity. Sexuality and Sexual Orientation. Race and Ethnicity. Racism. Sexism. Heterosexism and Homophobia. Equality and Preferential Treatment. Discriminatory Harassment. Identity Speech and Political Speech. Sexual Speech. Sexual Assault. For anyone interested in the philosophical underpinnings of today's Race, Sex, and Gender issues. (shrink)
In the United States, discrimination based on race, religion, and other suspect categories is strictly regulated when it takes place in hiring, promotion, and other areas of the world of commerce. Discrimination in one's private affairs, however, is not subject to legal regulation at all. Assuming that both sorts of discrimination can be equally morally wrong, why then should this disparity in legal treatment exist? This paper attempts to find a theory that can simultaneously explain these (...) divergent treatments by providing an account that fits the various aspects of our legal practices and our attitudes toward them, and justify those practices by providing an account that makes the divergence attractive from a moral point of view. The sorts of basis for the disparity are discussed: differences in our epistemological access to private and commercial discrimination; different effects these forms of discrimination have on their victims; and differences in the relative importance of the value of autonomy at stake. I conclude that while considerations of autonomy provide the best explanation for the disparity in attitudes toward the legal treatment of discrimination, they still fall well short of an explanation that completely fits and justifies our current practice. Specifically, I suggest that the disparity between our current legal treatment of private versus commercial discrimination is based on a mistaken belief about the greater importance of autonomy in the private realm than in the commercial sphere. Because this belief is mistaken, a practice designed to consistently respect the value of autonomy ought to differentiate less between private and commercial discrimination, either by regulating the former more heavily, or by regulating the latter less heavily. (shrink)
Desiring Whiteness provides a compelling new interpretation of how we understand race. Race is often presumed to be a social construction and we continue to deploy race thinking in our everyday life as a way of telling people apart visually. Desiring Whiteness explores this visual discrimination by asking questions in specifically psychoanalytic terms: how do subjects become raced? Is it common sense to read bodies as racially marked? Employing Lacan's theories of the subject and sexual difference, (...) Seshadri-Crooks explores how the discourse of race parallels that of sexual difference in making racial identity a fundamental component of our thinking. Through close readings of literary and film texts, Seshadri-Crooks demonstrates that race is a system of differences organized around a privileged term: Whiteness. Contra "Whiteness Studies," she argues that Whiteness should not be understood as the bodily or material property of a particular group, but as a term that makes the logic of race thinkingpossible. (shrink)
I critically examine the eliminativist theories of race or racism, and the behavioral theory of racism, which provide the theoretical foundation, respectively, for the nominalist and substantive conceptualizations of the idea of a post-racial era. The eliminativist theories seek to eliminate the concepts of “race” or “racism” from our discourse. Such elimination indicates a nominalist sense of the idea of a post-racial era. The behavioral theory of racism argues that racism must be manifested in obviously harmful actions. And (...) because such harmful actions are not prevalent today, this implies that we are in a post-racial era in a substantive sense. I conceptualize some subtle forms of racism that are prevalent today, which cannot be captured by the behavioral theory, but can best be captured by doxastic theories of racism. I conceptualize a substantive idea of a post-racial era, and then argue based on such conceptualization, that we are not in a post-racial era because subtle forms of racism are still prevalent today. (shrink)
The central topic for this book is the ethics of treating individuals as though they are members of groups. The book raises many interesting questions, including: why do we feel so much more strongly about discrimination on certain grounds e.g. of race and sex - than discrimination on other grounds? Are we right to think that discrimination based on these characteristics is especially invidious? what should we think about rational discriminationdiscrimination which is based (...) on sound statistics. To take just one of dozens of examples from the book. Suppose a landlord turns away a prospective tenant, because this prospective tenant is of a particular ethnicity arguing that statistics show that one in four of this group have been shown in the past to default on their rent. That seems clearly unfair to people of this ethnicity. But we are routinely being judged in this way not just on the basis of our ethnicity, but assumptions are made about us and decisions taken about us based on our gender, religion, job, post-code, hobbies, blood-group, nationality, etc., etc., etc.. Now suppose that another landlord turns away a convicted criminal, arguing that one in four of convicted criminals have been shown to be unreliable rent payers. Is our intuition the same as before? Should it be? The book will be suitable for all students of philosophy, especially those with an interest in applied ethics. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Introduction -- Chapter One: When Worldviews Collide -- Chapter Two: From Fault Lines to Cultural Competency -- Chapter Three: Cultural Discourse and Its Hurdles -- Chapter Four: On the Path to Presence -- Chapter Five: Cultivating Presence When There Is Distrust.
The Fair-Start Defense justifies affirmative action preferences as a response to harms caused by race- and sex-based discrimination. Rather than base a justification for preferences on the traditional appeal to self-esteem, I argue they are justified in virtue of the effects institutional discrimination has on the goals and aspirations of its victims. In particular, I argue that institutional discrimination puts women and blacks at an unfair competitive disadvantage by causing academic disidentification. Affirmative action is justified as (...) a means of negating this unfair disadvantage. (shrink)
Research providing consistent evidence of pervasive discrimination against overweight job applicants and employees in the American workplace raises important questions for organizational stakeholders. To what extent is the disparate treatment of job applicants or employees based on their weight ethically justified? Are there aspects of weight discrimination that make it more acceptable than discrimination based on other characteristics, such as race or gender? What operational steps can employers take to address concerns regarding the ethical treatment of (...) overweight individuals in the workplace? This article investigates these and related questions. Its purpose is to provide information and analysis that will assist organizations in formulating ethical responses to a widespread phenomenon: weight discrimination in the workplace. Although its focus is the American workplace, the proposed employer ethical obligations and the practical guidance that is provided are viewed as generalizing across countries and cultures. (shrink)
Numerous studies indicate that racial minorities are both more likely to be executed for murder and that those who murder them are less likely to be executed than if they murder whites. Death penalty opponents have long attempted to use these studies to argue for a moratorium on capital punishment. Whatever the merits of such arguments, they overlook the fact that such discrimination alters the costs of murder; racial discrimination imposes higher costs on minorities for murdering through tougher (...) sentences, and it imposes lower costs on whites for murdering minorities by dispensing weaker sentences. These cost differentials constitute an injustice not simply to actual minority defendants in capital cases, nor simply to the actual minority victims of murder, but to all members of minority communities. I here offer two arguments for a moratorium on capital punishment: The first draws upon evidence of racial discrimination against minority defendants in capital cases, and claims that such discrimination modifies the costs of murder in such a way that minority individuals do not enjoy equal status under the law. The second draws upon the evidence regarding racial discrimination in relation to the race of victims, and claims that such discrimination modifies the costs of murder in such a way that minority individuals do not enjoy the equal protection of the law. Thus, by not assigning equal costs to murder, the American criminal justice system fails to provide racial minorities the equality under the law and discounts the value of their lives and liberties. A moratorium is the least unjust response to such a social injustice. I also reply to the criticism that a moratorium prevents us from executing deserving murderers. (shrink)
Recent work in social psychology suggests that people harbor “implicit race biases,” biases which can be unconscious or uncontrollable. Because awareness and control have traditionally been deemed necessary for the ascription of moral responsibility, implicit biases present a unique challenge: do we pardon discrimination based on implicit biases because of its unintentional nature, or do we punish discrimination regardless of how it comes about? The present experiments investigated the impact such theories have upon moral judgments about racial (...)discrimination. The results show that different theories differ in their impact on moral judgments: when implicit biases are defined as unconscious, people hold the biased agent less morally responsible than when these biases are defined as automatic (i.e., difficult to control), or when no theory of implicit bias is provided. (shrink)
This article reports on a study of interaction between Americans who self-identify as Black and White that reveals underlying expectations with regard to conversation that differ between the two groups. These differences seem not to have much to do with class or gender, but rather vary largely according to self-identification by "race." The argument of this paper will be that the social phenomena of "race" are constructed at the level of interaction whenever Americans self-identified as Black and White (...) speak to one another. This is because the Interaction Order expectations with regard to both self and community vary between the two groups. Because the "language games" and conversational "preferences" practiced by the two groups are responsive to different Interaction Orders, the "working consensus" is substantially different, and as a consequence, conversational "moves" are not recognizably the same. It will be argued that a great deal of institutional discrimination against African Americans can be traced to this source. (shrink)
When Spinoza described his dream of a black, scabby Brazilian, was the image indicative of a larger pattern of racial discrimination? Should todays readers regard racist comments and theories in the texts of 17th- and 18th-century philosophers as reflecting the prejudices of their time or as symptomatic of philosophical discourse? This article discusses whether a critical discussion of race is itself a form of racism and whether supposedly minor prejudices are evidence of a deeper social pathology. Given historical (...) hindsight, we may read such discussion of race in early modern philosophy as a sign of the incipient struggle against prejudice, a sign that we can recognize and use in the struggles of our own time. Key Words: colonialism the concept of haunting essentialism David Hume Immanuel Kant racism Benedict Spinoza. (shrink)
Discrimination on the basis of race, sex, national origin, etc., is often morally wrong. But should such behaviour be proscribed by legislation, and penalized by fines or jail sentences? This paper argues that such enactments are incompatible with the law of free association, and with the concept of economic liberty and civil rights.
The purpose of this article is to argue in favor of a private employer’s right to discriminate amongst job applicants on any basis he chooses, and this certainly includes unlawful characteristics such as race, sex, national origin, sexual preference, religion, etc. John Locke and many after him have argued that people have natural rights to life, liberty, and property or the pursuit of happiness. In this view, law should be confined to protecting these rights and be limited to prohibiting (...) other people from transgressing those rights. The law should not hinder an employer’s ability to discriminate, any more than it should compel people to marry against their wishes. These laws generally emerge from a moral perspective that people think should be imposed on everyone else. But those who don’t welcome those morals are in effect being coerced to abide by them against their will; this is unethical. Finally, it will be argued that the free market has mechanisms by which discrimination will, be rendered powerless to harm its victims. (shrink)
Confusions about the place of race in medicine result in part from a failure to recognize the plurality of race concepts. Recognition that the ordinary concept of race is not identical to the racialist concept of race makes it possible to ask whether there might be a legitimate place for the deployment of concepts of race in medical contexts. Two technical race concepts are considered. The concept of social race is the concept of (...) a social group that is taken to be a racialist race. It is apt for use in examining and addressing the medical effects of discrimination. The populationist concept of race represents race as a kind of biological population. It makes it possible to frame the question whether biological race is a factor in disease susceptibility and drug responsiveness. It is apt for use in determining whether biological race is a medically significant category. (shrink)
Interviews with 111 African-American and European-Americans investigated racial differences in viewer evaluations of ethically controversial TV news stories. The study focused on judgments of whether three news stories (Genniger Flowers's alleged affair with Bill Clinton, a hit-and-run accident, and racial discrimination by Realtors) should be aired, the criteria applied in reaching those judgements, and the indications of reasons to attend to or to reject each story. No simple relationship was found between race and judgments of whether the stories (...) should be aired, but when story relevance was considered, the relationship became clearer. There appears to be a complex relationship between the viewers' lived experience, story content, and story evaluation. (shrink)
Abstract This paper describes an initiative to promote social justice in two groups of primary aged children. The initiative was concerned with the extent to which first? and third?year juniors can apply principles of unfair discrimination to issues of gender, ?race? and social class having been taught the principles in contexts unrelated to structural inequality. The study provides evidence consistent with the claim that children between the ages of seven and 11 can learn to recognise certain manifestations of (...) unfair discrimination against oppressed groups. The data further suggest that children in this age group can learn to recognise such discrimination on the basis of principles acquired in contexts that make no reference to oppressed groups. It is argued that the data are sufficiently encouraging to warrant a replication of the study on a larger scale. (shrink)
"The days of the pure whites, the victors of today, are as numbered as were the days of their predecessors. Having fulfilled their destiny of mechanizing the world, they themselves have set, without knowing it, the basis for the new period: The period of the fusion and the mixing of all peoples." -- from The Cosmic Race In this influential 1925 essay, presented here in Spanish and English, José Vasconcelos predicted the coming of a new age, the Aesthetic Era, (...) in which joy, love, fantasy, and creativity would prevail over the rationalism he saw as dominating the present age. In this new age, marriages would no longer be dictated by necessity or convenience, but by love and beauty ethnic obstacles, already in the process of being broken down, especially in Latin America, would disappear altogether, giving birth to a fully mixed race, a "cosmic race," in which all the better qualities of each race would persist by the natural selection of love. "This bilingual edition of The Cosmic Race by José Vasconcelos gives the reader a clear and concise introduction to contents that have caused much critical controversy. Didier T. Jaén places this essay in perspective, discussing theories relevant to Vasconcelos's thought... [and] also provides an historical context for Vasconcelos's evolving ideas." -- Hispania. (shrink)
During the 1780s, as Kant was developing his universalistic moral theory, he published texts in which he defended the superiority of whites over non-whites. Whether commentators see this as evidence of inconsistent universalism or of consistent inegalitarianism, they generally assume that Kant's position on race remained stable during the 1780s and 1790s. Against this standard view, I argue on the basis of his texts that Kant radically changed his mind. I examine his 1780s race theory and his hierarchical (...) conception of the races, and subsequently address the question of the significance of these views, especially in the light of Kant's own ethical theory. I then show that during the 1790s Kant restricts the role of the concept of race, and drops his hierarchical account of the races in favour of a more genuinely egalitarian and cosmopolitan view. (shrink)
Farhad Dalal argues that people differentiate between races in order to make a distinction between the "haves" and "must-not-haves", and that this process is cognitive, emotional and political rather than biological. Examining the subject over the past thousand years, Race, Colour and the Process of Racialisation covers theories of racism and a general theory of difference based on the works of Fanon, Elias, Matte-Blanco and Foulkes, as well as application of this theory to race and racism. Farhad Dalal (...) concludes that the structures of society are reflected in the structures of the psyche, and both of these are colour coded. This book will be invaluable to students, academics and practitioners in the areas of psychoanalysis, group analysis, psychotherapy and counseling. (shrink)
Social commentators have long asked whether racial categories should be conserved or eliminated from our practices, discourse, institutions, and perhaps even private thoughts. In A Theory of Race, Joshua Glasgow argues that this set of choices unnecessarily presents us with too few options. Using both traditional philosophical tools and recent psychological research to investigate folk understandings of race, Glasgow argues that, as ordinarily conceived, race is an illusion. However, our pressing need to speak to and make sense (...) of social life requires that we employ something like racial discourse. These competing pressures, Glasgow maintains, ultimately require us to stop conceptualizing race as something biological, and instead understand it as an entirely social phenomenon. (shrink)
All eyes are turned towards genomic data and models as the source of knowledge about whether human races exist or not. Will genomic science make the final decision about whether racial realism (e.g., racial population naturalism) or anti-realism (e.g., racial skepticism) is correct? We think not. We believe that the results of even our best and most impressive genomic technologies underdetermine whether bio-genomic races exist, or not. First, different sub-disciplines of biology interested in population structure employ distinct concepts, aims, measures, (...) and models, producing cross-cutting categorizations of population subdivisions rather than a single, universal bio-genomic concept of “race.” Second, within each sub-discipline (e.g., conservation biology, phylogenetics), genomic results are consistent with, and map multiply to, racial realism and anti-realism. Indeed, racial ontologies are constructed conventionally, rather than discovered. We thus defend a /constructivist conventionalism/ about bio-genomic racial ontology. Choices and conventions must always be made in identifying particular kinds of groups. Political agendas, social programs, and moral questions premised on the existence of naturalistic race must accept that no scientifically grounded racial ontology is forthcoming, and adjust presumptions, practices, and projects accordingly. (shrink)
Utilizing Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s work, I argue that the gestaltian framework’s co-determinacy of the theme and the horizon in seeing and experiencing the world serves as an encompassing epistemological framework with which to understand racism. Conclusions reached: as bias is unavoidably part of being in the world, defining racism as bias is superfluous; racism is sedimented into our very perceptions and experiences of the world and not solely a prejudice of thought; neutral perception of skin color is impossible. Phenomenology accounts for (...) the dynamic changes in expressions of racism and the interconnections of both race and sex for women of color. (shrink)
Since its first delivery in 1993, J.L. Schellenberg’s atheistic argument from divine hiddenness keeps generating lively debate in various quarters in the philosophy of religion. Over time, the author has responded to many criticisms of his argument, both in its original evidentialist version and in its subsequent conceptualist version. One central problem that has gone undetected in these exchanges to date, we argue, is how Schellenberg’s explicit-recognition criterion for revelation contains discriminatory tendencies against mentally handicapped persons. Viewed from this angle, (...) our present critique imparts Schellenberg’s position with a philosophical dilemma: (1) endorsing divine discrimination to the effect that God does not love ‘cognitive-affective outsiders’ or (2) giving up on explicit recognition. Either way, the hiddenness argument does not succeed. (shrink)
Historically critical reflection on whiteness in the United States has been a long-standing practice in slave folklore and in Mexican resistance to colonialism, Asian American struggles against exploitation and containment, and Native American stories of contact with European colonizers. Drawing from this legacy and from the disturbing silence on "whiteness" in postsecondary institutions, critical whiteness scholarship has emerged in the past two decades in U.S. academies in a variety of disciplines. A small number of philosophers, critical race theorists, postcolonial (...) theorists, social historians, and cultural studies scholars have revisited and reexamined questions of race and identity with an analysis that now focuses on historical studies of racial formation and the deconstruction of whiteness as an unmarked privilege-granting category and system of dominance. Collectively, the writings in this volume identify whiteness as a cultural disposition and ideology held in place by specific political, social, moral, aesthetic, epistemic, metaphysical, economic, legal, and historical conditions, crafted to preserve white identity and relations of white supremacy (Mills 2003). In this way, whiteness studies is a conscious attempt to think critically about how white supremacy continues to operate systemically, and sometimes unconsciously, as a global colonizing force. (shrink)
In this concisely argued, short new book, well-known philosopher Naomi Zack explores the scientific and philosophical problems in applying a biological conception of race to human beings. Through the systematic analysis of up-to-date data and conclusions in population genetics, transmission genetics, and biological anthropology, Zack provides a comprehensive conceptual account of how "race" in the ordinary sense has no basis in science. Her book combats our everyday understanding of race as a scientifically supported taxonomy of human beings, (...) and in conclusion challenges us to be clear about what we mean by "race" and what it would require to remedy racism. (shrink)
This paper offers both a criticism of and a novel alternative perspective on current ontologies that take race to be something that is either static and wholly evident at one’s birth or preformed prior to it. In it I survey and critically assess six of the most popular conceptions of race, concluding with an outline of my own suggestion for an alternative account. I suggest that race can be best understood in terms of one’s experience of his (...) or her body, one’s interactions with other individuals, and one’s experiences within particular cultures and societies. This embeddedness of human experience has been left out of most discussions of race which tie race to a set of characteristics (either biologically or sociologically defined). To rectify this omission, I articulate what I call the “physiosocial” view of race. This emphasizes the situatedness of human experience, the reciprocal and dynamic nature of the racial identities of individuals and groups. Approaching racial identity in this way entails a union of two historically uncomfortable partners: biological and sociological conceptions of race. If successful, this philosophical stance may illuminate the process of racial self-ascription as well as provide an explanation for the potential changeability of an individual’s racial identity at different times and at different places. (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)
Marguerite Clark as Topsy in Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1918). Charlton Heston as Ramon Miguel Vargas in Touch of Evil (1958). Mizuo Peck as Sacagawea in Night at the Museum (2006). From the early days of cinema to its classic-era through to the contemporary Hollywood age, the history of cinema is replete with films in which the racial (or ethnic) background of a principal character does not match the background of the actor or actress portraying that character. I call this actor-character (...)race-mismatching. In this paper, I mainly explore whether a coherent and plausible account can be given of race-matching in terms of purely aesthetic considerations, i.e., an account that absent moral considerations can nevertheless coherently and productively answer the following questions: can race-mismatching itself ever be an aesthetic defect of a film, and if so, under what conditions can race-mismatching be such an aesthetic defect. I claim that once we have in place a precise account of the nature of race-matching, it becomes clear that films for which race-mismatching appears to constitute an aesthetic defect are actually films with which properly engaging requires audiences to satisfy inconsistent epistemic conditions. In such cases, I claim, race mismatching constitutes an aesthetic defect for the film-fiction because—in virtue of the inconsistency underwritten by the race-mismatching—that film-fiction undermines the very uptake it prescribes. I then argue that if what’s defective about race-mismatching aesthetically is predicated on something being defective about race-mismatching epistemically, then if there is nothing in principle defective about race-mismatching epistemically, then so too for mismatching aesthetically (and so too for mismatching morally). From this I conclude that reasons stemming only from race-matching/mismatching itself lack the normative force sufficient to warrant the claim that film-fictions ought not race-mismatch. (shrink)
This article reports four subliminal perception experiments using the relationship between confidence and accuracy to assess awareness. Subjects discriminated among stimuli and indicated their confidence in each discrimination response. Subjects were classified as being aware of the stimuli if their confidence judgments predicted accuracy and as being unaware if they did not. In the first experiment, confidence predicted accuracy even at stimulus durations so brief that subjects claimed to be performing at chance. This finding indicates that subjects's claims that (...) they are ''just guessing'' should not be accepted as sufficient evidence that they are completely unaware of the stimuli. Experiments 2-4 tested directly for subliminal perception by comparing the minimum exposure duration needed for better than chance discrimination performance against the minimum needed for confidence to predict accuracy. The latter durations were slightly but significantly longer, suggesting that under certain circumstances people can make perceptual discriminations even though the information that was used to make those discriminations is not consciously available. (shrink)
Joshua Glasgow argues against the existence of races. His experimental philosophy asks subjects questions involving racial categorization to discover the ordinary concept of race at work in their judgments. The results show conflicting information about the concept of race, and Glasgow concludes that the ordinary concept of race is inconsistent. I conclude, rather, that Glasgow’s results fit perfectly fine with a social-kind view of races as real social entities. He also presents thought experiments to show that social-kind (...) views give the wrong results, but intuitions might differ on which results are the wrong ones, and social-kind views can resist the implications he derives from these cases. Widespread false beliefs about a concept or category need not undermine anything’s existence, and a sufficiently context-sensitive approach to races will allow for competing criteria for race-membership in different contexts without contradictory criteria in any one context. Glasgow’s arguments are therefore unsuccessful. (shrink)
It is no surprise that empirical psychology refutes, again and again, assumptions of uneducated common sense. But some puzzlement tends to arise when scientific results appear to call into question the very conceptual framework of the mental to which we have become accustomed. This paper shall examine a case in point: Experiments on colour-discrimination have recently been taken to refute an assumption of first-person authority that appears to be constitutive of our ordinary notion of perceptual experience. The paper is (...) to show that those experiments do not refute this assumption, and will suggest that the impression to the contrary is, ultimately, due to two factors: to misleading imagery and, above all, to mistaken translation from the technical idiom of empirical psychology into the plain English we use every day. This is to take the mystery out of what we shall see to constitute a pretty puzzle; it is to remind us just how careful we need to be when drawing conclusions from results of scientific psychology; and it is to bring out the virtues of methods commonly lumped together under the entirely misleading label of 'ordinary language philosophy', of methods far more useful than their common caricature would make one think. (shrink)
The UNESCO Statements on Race of the early 1950s are understood to have marked a consensus amongst natural scientists and social scientists that ‘race’ is a social construct. Human biological diversity was shown to be predominantly clinal, or gradual, not discreet, and clustered, as racial naturalism implied. From the seventies social constructionists added that the vast majority of human genetic diversity resides within any given racialised group. While social constructionism about race became the majority consensus view on (...) the topic, social constructionism has always had its critics. Sesardic (2010) has compiled these criticisms into one of the strongest defences of racial naturalism in recent times. In this paper I argue that Sesardic equivocates between two versions of racial naturalism: a weak version and a strong version. As I shall argue, the strong version is not supported by the relevant science. The weak version, on the other hand, does not contrast properly with what social constructionists think about ‘race’. By leaning on this weak view Sesardic’s racial naturalism intermittently gains an appearance of plausibility, but this view is too weak to revive racial naturalism. As Sesardic demonstrates, there are new arguments for racial naturalism post-Human Genome Diversity Project. The positive message behind my critique is how to be a social constructionist about race in the post-genomic era. (shrink)
Many hold that ordinary race-thinking in the USA is committed to the 'one-drop rule', that race is ordinarily represented in terms of essences, and that race is ordinarily represented as a biological (phenotype- and/or ancestry-based, non-social) kind. This study investigated the extent to which ordinary race-thinking subscribes to these commitments. It also investigated the relationship between different conceptions of race and racial attitudes. Participants included 449 USA adults who completed an Internet survey. Unlike previous research, (...) conceptions of race were assessed using concrete vignettes. Results indicate widespread rejection of the one-drop rule, as well as the use of a complex combination of ancestral, phenotypic, and social (and, therefore, non-essentialist) criteria for racial classification. No relationship was found between racial attitudes and essentialism, the one-drop rule, or social race-thinking; however, ancestry-based and phenotype-based classification criteria were associated with racial attitudes. These results suggest a complicated relationship between conceptions of race and racial attitudes. (shrink)
On Race and Philosophy is a collection of essays written and published across the last twenty years, which focus on matters of race, philosophy, and social and political life in the West, in particular in the US. These important writings trace the author's continuing efforts not only to confront racism, especially within philosophy, but, more importantly, to work out viable conceptions of raciality and ethnicity that are empirically sound while avoiding chauvinism and invidious ethnocentrism. The hope is that (...) such conceptions will assist efforts to fashion a nation-state in which racial and ethnic cultures and identities are recognized and nurtured contributions to a more just and stable democracy. (shrink)
Discrimination is a central moral and legal concept. However, it is also a contested one. Particularly, accounts of the wrongness of discrimination often rely on controversial and particular assumptions. In this paper, I argue that a theory of discrimination that relies on premises that are general (rather than unique to the concept of discrimination) and widely accepted provides a plausible (exhaustive) account of the concept of wrongful discrimination. According to the combined theory, wrongful discrimination (...) consists of allocating a benefit that is not supported by a morally significant fact (a valid reason), or in a way that involves distributive injustice, or both. (shrink)
Salvador, the old colonial capital and contemporaneously the third largest metropolis, is the most emblematic city of Brazilian historical process by its population density and afro descendant cultural. In this article we present a theoretical analysis and empirical evidence on socio-economic and socio-racial inequalities, per color/race and sex to understand relations of race and gender in concrete and symbolic spaces that marked our form of organization of space. The statistical data and maps were based in IBGE Census 2000 (...) and analyzed by spacial and social conditions. In the qualitative research, we used interviews with various social agents of the city to analyze the perception of the people on the social and urban dynamics on racism, sexism, discrimination, etc. Thus, we have articulated class, gender, race and space as main categories of analysis in their intersectionalities to understand how the sexism, racism and classism by ranking the individuals according to physical attributes in upper and lower limbs. They are determining in the socio-historical formation in Brazil. We seek to understand these phenomena as structuring socio-economic and socio-racial inequalities and how they express themselves in the urban space, particularly the territorialities of afro descendant women and their multiple meanings, to think the collective processes, the libertarians’ processes, the right to the city in the feminist perspectives, anti-racist and anti-classist. (shrink)
Unjustifiable assumptions about sex and gender roles, the untamable potency of maleness, and gynophobic notions about women's bodies inform and influence a broad range of policy-making institutions in this society. In December 2004, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit continued this ignoble cultural pastime when they decided Everson v. Michigan Department of Corrections. In this decision, the Everson Court accepted the Michigan Department of Correction's claim that “the very manhood” of male prison guards both threatens the safety (...) of female inmates and violates the women's “special sense of privacy in their genitals” and declared that sex-specific employment policies for prison guards is not impermissibly discriminatory. I believe that the Court's decision relies on unacceptable (and offensive) stereotypes about sex, gender and sexuality and it significantly undermines Title VII's power to end discriminatory employment practices. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: 1. Thinking in black and white; 2. Repairing the slave reparations debate; 3. Advancing the slave reparations debate; 4. One cheer for affirmative action; 5. Two cheers for affirmative action; 6. Why I used to hate hate speech restrictions; 7. Why I still hate hate speech restrictions; 8. How to stop worrying and learn to love hate crime laws; 9. How to keep on loving hate crime laws; 10. Is racial profiling irrational?; 11. Is racial profiling (...) immoral?. (shrink)
This book places under sustained scrutiny some of our most basic modern assumptions about inheritance, genealogy, blood relations, and racial categories. It has at its core a deceptively simple question, one too often taken for granted: what constitutes good bonds among humans, and what compels us to determine them so across generations as both a physical and a metaphysical attribute? Answering this question is complex and involves a foray into a seemingly disparate array of early modern sources: from adages, common (...) law, and literature about bloodlines and bastardy to philosophical, political, and scientific discourses that both confirm and confound the common sense of familial, communal, national, and racial identity. (shrink)
O artigo argumenta que o destino da democracia e o futuro do pensamento liberacionista na América Latina dependem de uma autocompreensão dos conceitos correlativos de raça, etnicidade e identidade cultural. A fim de reformular o que seria uma filosofia latino-americana da libertação, é mister revisitar versões autóctones da análise marxista e da teoria crítica na sua própria gênese e produção fenomenológica de significados.
Aping apes: Edgar Allan Poe's "The murders in the Rue Morgue" and Richard Wright's Native son -- Slavery's bestiary: Joel Chandler Harris's Uncle Remus tales -- Autoimmunity and ante-racism: Philip Roth's The human stain -- Ashamed of shame: J.M. Coetzee's Disgrace.
"Draws on philosophers, political theorists, activists, and poets to explain how unspoken and unspeakable knowledge is important to racial and gender formation; offers a usable conception of implicit understanding"--Provided by publishers.
In this paper I show that a variety of Cartesian Conceptions of the mental are unworkable. In particular, I offer a much weaker conception of limited discrimination than the one advanced by Williamson (2000) and show that this weaker conception, together with some plausible background assumptions, is not only able to undermine the claim that our core mental states are luminous (roughly: if one is in such a state then one is in a position to know that one is) (...) but also the claim that introspection is infallible with respect to our core mental states (where a belief that C obtains is infallible just in case if one believes that C obtains then C obtains). The upshot is a broader and much more powerful case against the Cartesian conception of the mental than has been advanced hitherto. (shrink)
It is nowadays a dominant opinion in a number of disciplines (anthropology, genetics, psychology, philosophy of science) that the taxonomy of human races does not make much biological sense. My aim is to challenge the arguments that are usually thought to invalidate the biological concept of race. I will try to show that the way “race” was defined by biologists several decades ago (by Dobzhansky and others) is in no way discredited by conceptual criticisms that are now fashionable (...) and widely regarded as cogent. These criticisms often arbitrarily burden the biological category of race with some implausible connotations, which then opens the path for a quick eliminative move. However, when properly understood, the biological notion of race proves remarkably resistant to these deconstructive attempts. Moreover, by analyzing statements of some leading contemporary scholars who support social constructivism about race, I hope to demonstrate that their eliminativist views are actually in conflict with what the best contemporary science tells us about human genetic variation. (shrink)
Race was once thought to be a real biological kind. Today the dominant view is that objective biological races don't exist. I challenge the trend to reject the biological reality of race by arguing that cladism (a school of classification that individuates taxa by appeal to common ancestry) provides a new way to define race biologically. I also reconcile the proposed biological conception with constructivist theories about race. Most constructivists assume that biological realism and social constructivism (...) are incompatible views about race; I argue that the two conceptions can be compatible. (shrink)
It is illegitimate to read any ontology about "race" off of biological theory or data. Indeed, the technical meaning of "genetic variation" is fluid, and there is no single theoretical agreed-upon criterion for defining and distinguishing populations (or groups or clusters) given a particular set of genetic variation data. Thus, by analyzing three formal senses of "genetic variation"—diversity, differentiation, and heterozygosity—we argue that the use of biological theory for making epistemic claims about "race" can only seem plausible when (...) it relies on the user’s own assumptions about race; the move from biological measures to claims about “race” inevitably amounts to a pernicious reification. We also excavate assumptions in the history of the technical discourse over the concept of "race" (e.g., Livingstone's and Dobzhansky's 1962 exchange, Edwards' 2003 response to Lewontin 1972, as well as contemporary discussions of cladistic "race", and "races" as clusters). We show that claims about the existence (or non-existence) of "race" are underdetermined by biological facts, methods, and theories. Biological theory does not force the concept of "race" upon us; our social discourse, social ontology, and social expectations do. We become prisoners of our abstractions at our own hands, and at our own expense. (shrink)
This paper examines four major arguments advanced by opponents of race and gender conscious affirmative action and rebuts them on the basis of moral considerations. It is clear that the problem of past racial/gender discrimination has not disappeared; its effects linger, resulting in a wide disparity in opportunities and attainments between minorities/women and whites/males. Affirmative action, although not the perfect solution, is by far the most viable method of redressing the effects of past discrimination. Thus it cannot (...) be dismissed lightly by way of arguing for mere colorblindness. (shrink)
Intersectionality has attracted substantial scholarly attention in the 1990s. Rather than examining gender, race, class, and nation as distinctive social hierarchies, intersectionality examines how they mutually construct one another. I explore how the traditional family ideal functions as a privileged exemplar of intersectionality in the United States. Each of its six dimensions demonstrates specific connections between family as a gendered system of social organization, racial ideas and practices, and constructions of U.S. national identity.
In this paper I investigate a largely untold chapter in the history of race thinking in Northern Europe and North America: the transition from the form of racism that was used to justify a race-based system of slavery to the medicalising racism which called for segregation, apartheid, eugenics, and, eventually, sterilization and the holocaust. In constructing this history I will employ the notion of biopower introduced by Michel Foucault. Foucault’s account of biopower has received a great deal of (...) attention recently, but because what he actually has to say about race tends to be vague and radically incomplete, many race theorists have been critical of his contribution. However, even if the account of the holocaust in terms of biopower is incomplete, there is still a great deal to be learned from Foucault’s identification of this biologizing, or medicalising racism. (shrink)
Hate speech employs discriminatory epithets to insult and stigmatize others on the basis of their race, gender, sexual orientation, or other forms of group membership. The regulation of hate speech is deservedly controversial, in part because debates over hate speech seem to have teased apart libertarian and egalitarian strands within the liberal tradition. In the civil rights movements of the 1960s, libertarian concerns with freedom of movement and association and equal opportunity pointed in the same direction as egalitarian concerns (...) with eradicating racial discrimination and the social and economic inequalities that this discrimination maintained. But debates over hate speech regulation seem to force one to give priority to equality or to liberty. On the one hand, egalitarian concerns may seem to require restricting freedom of expression. Hate speech is an expression of discriminatory attitudes that have a long, ugly, and sometimes violent history. As such, hate speech is deeply offensive to its victims and socially divisive. Though one might well be reluctant to restrict speech, it might seem that the correct response to hate speech, as with other forms of discrimination, is regulation. On the other hand, libertarian concerns may seem to constrain the pursuit of equality. Though one may abhor hate speech and its effects, the cure might seem at least as bad as the disease. Freedoms of expression are among our most fundamental liberties. Offensive ideas are part of the price one must pay to protect these constitutional rights. This being so, it might seem that the correct response to hate speech is more speech—presumably egalitarian speech condemning hate speech—not the restriction of speech. (shrink)
In the ongoing debate concerning the nature of human racial categories, there is a trend to reject the biological reality of race in favour of the view that races are social constructs. At work here is the assumption that biological reality and social constructivism are incompatible. I oppose the trend and the assumption by arguing that cladism, in conjunction with current work in human evolution, provides a new way to define race biologically. Defining race in this way (...) makes sense when compared to the developments in other areas of systematic biology, where shared history has largely replaced morphological similarity as the foundation of a natural biological classification. Surprisingly, it turns out that cladistic races and social constructivism are compatible. I discuss a number of lessons about the way human biological races have been conceptualized. (shrink)
Among race theorists, the view that race is a social construction is widespread. While the term ‘social construction’ is sometimes intended to mean merely that race does not (as once believed) constitute a robust, biological natural kind, it often labels the stronger position that race is real, but not a biological kind. For example, Charles Mills (1998) writes that, ‘‘the task of those working on race is to put race in quotes, ‘race’, while (...) still insisting that nevertheless, it exists (and moves people)’’(xiv, italics his). It is to ‘‘make a plausible social ontology neither essentialist, innate, nor transhistorical, but real enough for all that’’ (xiv). Racial constructionism, thus conceived, is a metaphysical position that contrasts both with the view that race is an important biological kind (racial naturalism) and with the more recent claim that race does not exist (racial skepticism). The desire for a constructionist metaphysics of race emerges against the background of a cluster of normative disputes, including. (shrink)
A consensus view appears to prevail among academics from diverse disciplines that biological races do not exist, at least in humans, and that race-concepts and race-objects are socially constructed. The consensus view has been challenged recently by Robin O. Andreasen's cladistic account of biological race. This paper argues that from a scientific viewpoint there are methodological, empirical, and conceptual problems with Andreasen's position, and that from a philosophical perspective Andreasen's adherence to rigid dichotomies between science and society, (...) facts and values, nature and culture, and the biological and the social needs to be relinquished. DNA forensics is just one field of research that reveals how race remains both idea and object for human population biologists, an indication that it is premature to accept the existence of a no-race consensus across the disciplines. DNA forensics research also demonstrates ways in which race is reified by scientists by the representation of what is cultural or social as natural or biological, and of what is dynamic, relative, and continuous as static, absolute, and discrete. The philosophical analysis of foundational concepts of human population biology such as population, race, and ethnic group is best served by foregoing traditional objectivist approaches for a critical stance that recognises the inextricability of the biological and the social. Introduction Consensus view: biological races do not exist Andreasen's defence of the biological reality of races as clades Biological permutations of race Conclusion. (shrink)
This paper explores the psychological phenomena of sex stereotypes and their consequences for the occurrence of sex discrimination in work settings. Differential conceptions of the attributes of women and men are shown to extend to women and men managers, and the lack of fit model is used to explain how stereotypes about women can detrimentally affect their career progress. Commonly-occurring organizational conditions which facilitate the use of stereotypes in personnel decision making are identified and, lastly, data are provided demonstrating (...) the way in which affirmative action programs and practices can act to promote the stereotyping of women suggesting, that rather than being a remedy for sex discrimination, such programs might in fact be another contributor to the problem. Conclusions focus on the importance of attending to the role sex stereotypes play in hindering women's career progress when procedures to combat sex discrimination in organizations are designed and implemented. (shrink)
Many contemporary race scholars reject the biological reality of race.Elsewhere I have argued that they have been too quick to do so. Part ofthe reason is that they have overlooked the possibility that races canbe defined cladistically. Since the publication of the cladistic raceconcept, a number of questions and objections have been raised. My aimin this paper is to address these objections.
This paper examines the relationship between perceptual knowledge and discrimination in the light of the so-called ‘relevant alternatives’ intuition. It begins by outlining an intuitive relevant alternatives account of perceptual knowledge which incorporates the insight that there is a close connection between perceptual knowledge and the possession of relevant discriminatory abilities. It is argued, however, that in order to resolve certain problems that face this view, it is essential to recognise an important distinction between favouring and discriminating epistemic support (...) that is often overlooked in the literature. This distinction complicates the story regarding how an alternative becomes relevant, and in doing so weakens the connection between perceptual knowledge and discrimination. The theory that results, however—what I term a ‘two-tiered’ relevant alternatives theory of perceptual knowledge—accommodates many of our intuitions about perceptual knowledge and so avoids the revisionism of some recent proposals in the epistemological literature. (shrink)
In 1934 Heidegger offered an account of what a Volk is in terms of the existential analytic of Dasein set out in Being and Time , but soon after he abandoned this framework as he began the task of overcoming metaphysics. Integral to this new task was a confrontation with the racial policies not just of the Nazis but also of the Allies because he believed that the Western philosophical tradition was deeply implicated in these policies. Against this background, this (...) paper explores Heidegger's attempts—hitherto unrecognized—in the late 1930s to sketch another way of thinking what his contemporaries called "race" using the conceptual resources he had introduced in "The Origin of the Work of Art." The paper also includes some criticisms of Emmanuel Faye's recent study, Heidegger: The Introduction of Nazism into Philosophy. (shrink)
The most blatant forms of discrimination are morally outrageous and very obviously so; but the nature and boundaries of discrimination are more controversial, and it is not clear whether all forms of discrimination are morally bad; nor is it clear why objectionable cases of discrimination are bad. In this paper I address these issues. First, I offer a taxonomy of discrimination. I then argue that discrimination is bad, when it is, because it harms people. (...) Finally, I criticize a rival, disrespect-based account according to which discrimination is bad regardless of whether it causes harm. (shrink)
In recent years, there has been a flurry of work on the metaphysics of race. While it is now widely accepted that races do not share robust, bio-behavioral essences, opinions differ over what, if anything, race is. Recent work has been divided between three apparently quite different answers. A variety of theorists argue for racial skepticism, the view that races do not exist at all.[iv] A second group defends racial constructionism, holding that races are in some way socially (...) constructed.[v],[vi] And a third group maintains racial population naturalism, the view that races may exist as biologically salient populations albeit ones that do not have the biologically determined social significance once imputed to them.[vii] The three groups thus seem to disagree fundamentally upon the metaphysical character of race. (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)
Contemporary discussions of race and racism devote considerable effort to giving conceptual analyses of these notions. Much of the work is concerned to investigate a priori what we mean by the terms ‘race’ and ‘racism’ (e.g., Garcia 1996; Garcia 1997; Garcia 1999: Blum 2002; Hardimon 2003; Mallon 2004); more recent work has started to employ empirical methods to determine the content of our “folk concepts,” or “folk theory” of race and racism (Glasgow 2009; Glasgow (...) et al 2009; Faucher and Machery 2009). In contrast to both of these projects, I have argued elsewhere that in considering what we mean by these terms we should treat them on the model of kind terms whose reference is fixed by ordinary uses, but whose content is discovered empirically using social theory; I have also argued that it is not only important to determine what we actually mean by these terms, but what we should mean, i.e., what type, if any, we should be tracking. (Haslanger 2000, Haslanger 2006) My own discussion of these issues, however, has been confused and confusing. In giving an account of race or gender, is the goal to provide a conceptual analysis? Or to investigate the kinds we are referring to? To draw attention to different kinds? To stipulate new meanings? Jennifer Saul has raised a series of powerful objections to my accounts of gender and race, suggesting that they are neither semantically nor politically useful, regardless of whether we treat them as revisionary proposals, or as elucidations of our concepts. (Saul 2006) Joshua Glasgow has also offered a critique of my externalist approach to race as an effort to capture “our concept” (Glasgow 2009, Ch. 6-7). I agree with much of what they say, but I also believe that there is something I was trying to capture that.. (shrink)
In this paper, I will argue that it is a moral obligation for companies, firstly, to accept their moral responsibility with respect to non-discrimination, and secondly, to address the issue with a full-fledged programme, including but not limited to the countering of microsocial discrimination processes through specific policies. On the basis of a broad sketch of how some discrimination mechanisms are actually influencing decisions, that is, causing intended as well as unintended bias in Human Resources Management (HRM), (...) I will argue that the well known tools of legislation and ethical codes are necessary although insufficient to cope with the problem. However, based on empirical evidence, we know which set of measures is likely to diminish discrimination. Taking non-discrimination seriously implies complex and longitudinal policies which include assigning responsibility for a non-discrimination policy within the firm, making managers conscious of implicit stereotypes and helping them to cope with prejudices that no one can totally overcome. Insofar as corporate responsibility with respect to non-discrimination is accepted and strategies that are not prohibitively expensive are known, companies are bound to implement them. Not implementing the best set of measures may be considered at least as a moral shortcoming or, depending on the size of the company, mere lip service to the non-discrimination principle. Although the paper refers to empirical material of diverse backgrounds, its intent is clearly normative. It wishes to spell out what companies ought to do if they are committed to responsible behaviour. The discussion of effective remedies against discrimination is based on a case study of a French company. The retailer Auchan was recently surprised to learn that it was discriminating against ethnic minorities despite strong ethical standards, an ethics committee and ethical leadership. The company dropped its naïve beliefs and set up an ambitious policy cope with the issue. The case illustrates what recent empirical research has revealed about the effectiveness of diversity policies: establishing responsibility for diversity results, firm ethical commitment and support from top management make diversity programs effective. (shrink)
Abstract: Philosophers who have addressed the problems of enduring racial injustice have been suspicious of the role played by ideal theory in ethics and political philosophy generally, and in contemporary liberal political philosophy in particular. The theoretical marginalization of race in the work of Rawls has led some to charge that ideal theory is at the very least unhelpful in understanding one of the most significant forms of contemporary injustice, and is at worst ideological in the pejorative sense. To (...) explore these concerns, I formulate five related criticisms of ideal theory and examine each as it would be applied to Rawls's political philosophy. My thesis is that the strongest criticisms—namely, that ideal theory is essentially ideological and cannot provide adequate grounds for justifying race-conscious, equality-securing measures—ultimately miss the mark. But other criticisms of ideal theory are more plausible, and most plausibly directed to an area of Rawls's thought often ignored in discussions of liberalism and race, namely, his account of citizenship and public reasoning. (shrink)
The skeptic says that "knowledge" is an absolute term, whereas the contextualist says that "knowledge" is a relationally absolute term. Which is the better hypothesis about "knowledge"? And what implications do these hypotheses about "knowledge" have for knowledge? I argue that the skeptic has the better hypothesis about "knowledge", but that both hypotheses about "knowledge" have deeply anti-skeptical implications for knowledge, since both presuppose our capacity for epistemically salient discrimination.
Apparently, Latinos are “taking over.” 1 With news that Latinos have become the largest minority group in the United States, the public airwaves are filled with concerned voices about the impact that a non-English dominant, Catholic, non-white, largely poor population will have on “American” identity. Aside from the hysteria, Latino identity poses some authentically new questions for the standard way in which minority identities are conceptualized. Are Latinos a race, an ethnicity, or some combination? What does it mean to (...) have hybridity as the foundation of an identity, as is the case for mestizos and most Latinos? The term “Latino” signifies people from an entire continent, sub-continent, and several large islands, with diverse racial, national, ethnic, religious, and linguistic aspects to their identity. Given all this internal diversity, is “Latino” a meaningful identity at all? Latino identity is, with few exceptions, a visible identity, for all its variability, and I will argue that unless we pay close attention to the way in which Latino identity operates as a visible identity in public, social spaces, our analyses of its social meanings and political effects will be compromised. In the following three chapters, I will address three issues that Latino identity raises, issues that have political ramifications but that also require us to think about the philosophical assumptions at work behind common ideas about race and ethnicity. First, what is the relationship between Latino identity and racial categories? Second, how do Latinos fit into, and challenge, the black/white binary thinking about race that has long dominated public discourse in the U.S.? And third, what does it mean to have a mixed identity, for Latinos or for other mixed race groups? Throughout, we will have to pay close attention to the especially significant heterogeneity of this particular population. Does such diversity threaten identity or does it reveal that identity has never presumed uniformity? Only recently has the concept of pan-Latino, or generic Hispanic, identity overtaken the older identity monikers of “Cuban,” “Mexican,” “Puerto Rican,” etc. in significant national discourses across the United States.. (shrink)
Biological research on race has often been seen as motivated by or lending credence to underlying racist attitudes; in part for this reason, recently philosophers and biologists have gone through great pains to essentially deny the existence of biological human races. We argue that human races, in the biological sense of local populations adapted to particular environments, do in fact exist; such races are best understood through the common ecological concept of ecotypes. However, human ecotypic races do not in (...) general correspond with 'folk' racial categories, largely because many similar ecotypes have multiple independent origins. Consequently, while human natural races exist, they have little or nothing in common with 'folk' races. (shrink)
In this article, we discuss the relationships between discrimination, harassment, and the glass ceiling, arguing that many of the factors that preclude women from occupying executive and managerial positions also foster sexual harassment. We suggest that measures designed to increase numbers of women in higher level positions will reduce sexual harassment. We first define and discuss discrimination, harassment, and the glass ceiling, relationships between each, and relevant legislation. We next discuss the relationships between gender and sexual harassment, emphasizing (...) the influence of gender inequality on sexual harassment. We then present recommendations for organizations seeking to reduce sexual harassment, emphasizing the role that women executives may play in such efforts and, importantly, the recursive effects of such efforts on increasing the numbers of women in higher level positions in organizations. (shrink)
In 1990 the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became federal law with the express purpose to “establish a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities."l The act includes separate titles prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, public services, transportation and public accommodations. Since it prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in both public and private services and programs, in health care “it applies to programs provided (...) by the government, benefits provided by employers, and services pro- ”2 vided by physicians.Moreover, the ADA defines disability broadly to include “any.. (shrink)
Motivation to Permissibility 780 III. The Deception Accounts of Wrongful Discrimination 783 IV. Discrimination from Animus and Prejudice 787 V. An Objection 789 VI. Innocent Discrimination 790 VII. Disparate Impact 793 VIII. Suspect Classifications 795..
According to The Bell Curve, Black Americans are genetically inferior to Whites. That's not the only point in Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray's book. They also argue that there is something called "general intelligence" which is measured by IQ tests, socially important, and 60 percent "heritable" within whites. (I'll explain heritability below.) But the claim about genetic inferiority is my target here. It has been subject to wide-ranging criticism since the book was first published last year. Those criticisms, however, have (...) missed its deepest flaws. Indeed, the Herrnstein/Murray argument depends on conceptual confusions that have been tacitly accepted to some degree by many of the book's sharpest critics. (shrink)
The first explicit argument for the incompatibility of externalism in the philosophy of mind and a priori self-knowledge is Boghossian’s discrimination argument. In this essay, I oppose the third premise of this argument, trying to show by means of a thought experiment that possessing the “twater thought” is not an alternative, a fortiori not a relevant alternative, to having the “water thought.” I then examine a modified version of Boghossian’s argument. The attempt is made to substantiate the claim that (...) the standard incompatibilist support for its second premise is untenable. Furthermore, a third Boghossian-style argument is rejected on the ground that either its second premise cannot be warranted in the way suggested by incompatibilists or its third premise is mistaken because having the “twater thought” instead of the “water thought” is not relevant. Finally, it is argued that the discrimination argument cannot be saved by invoking closure. The upshot of my discussion is that a compatibilist can dismiss Boghossian-style arguments for incompatibilism without having to deal with fundamental issues concerning self-knowledge and the nature of slow switching. (shrink)
In this article I present a positive ontology of 'race'. Toward this end, I discuss metaphysical pluralism and review the theories of Ian Hacking, John Dupre and Root. Working within Root's framework, I describe the conditions under which a constructed kind like 'race' would be real. I contend these conditions are currently satisfied in the United States. Given the social presence and impact of 'race' and the unique way 'race' operates at differing sites, I will argue (...) that it is site-specific, it is socially constructed, and it is real. Key Words: human kinds metaphysical pluralism philosophy of race promiscuous realism race race theory racial realism. (shrink)
With its recognition of the combined effects of the social categories of race, class and gender intersectionality has risen to the rank of feminism’s most important contribution to date. Though the first intersectional research (American and British) gave visibility to the social locus of women who self-identified as "black" or "of colour", current research goes beyond the confines of the English-speaking world and aims increasingly to develop an intersectional instrument to deal with discrimination. This project gives rise to (...) two kinds of debate: one related to producing intersectional information and to ways of carrying out research in this area, the other to do with the use of this information in the political struggle for equality. The current paper, which is confined to the first debate, attempts to bring out the main tension points in present theorizations of intersectionality. Its objective is twofold: to demonstrate certain limits to the explanatory power of intersectionality, and to suggest ways forward in the light of discussions already in train. In order to do so four points are tackled: intersectionality as a research paradigm, the issue of levels of analysis, the theoretical difference of opinion on the ontological status of categories of difference and the issue of widening the theoretical scope of intersectionality. (shrink)
A theory is value-neutral when no constitutive values are part of its content. Nonneutral theories seem to lack objectivity because it is not clear how the constitutive values could be empirically confirmed. This article analyzes Franz Boas’s famous arguments against nineteenth-century evolutionary anthropology and racial theory. While he recognized that talk of "higher civilizations" encoded a constitutive, political value with consequences for slavery and colonialism, he argued against it on empirical and methodological grounds. Boas’s arguments thus provide a model of (...) how, under the right conditions, scientific inquiry can provide empirically objective grounds for political critique. Key Words: value-freedom • Franz Boas • race • objectivity • neutrality. (shrink)
Even in secular and civil contexts, marriage retains sacramental connotations. Yet what moral significance does it have? This book examines its morally salient features - promise, commitment, care, and contract - with surprising results. In Part One, "De-Moralizing Marriage," essays on promise and commitment argue that we cannot promise to love and so wedding vows are (mostly) failed promises, and that marriage may be a poor commitment strategy. The book contends with the most influential philosophical accounts of the moral value (...) of marriage to argue that marriage has no inherent moral significance. Further, the special value accorded marriage sustains amatonormative discrimination - discrimination against non-amorous or non-exclusive caring relationships such as friendships, adult care networks, polyamorous groups, or urban tribes. The discussion raises issues of independent interest for the moral philosopher such as the possibilities and bounds of interpersonal moral obligations and the nature of commitment. The central argument of Part Two, "Democratizing Marriage," is that liberal reasons for recognizing same-sex marriage also require recognition of groups, polyamorists, polygamists, friends, urban tribes, and adult care networks. Political liberalism requires the disestablishment of monogamous amatonormative marriage. Under the constraints of public reason, a liberal state must refrain from basing law solely on moral or religious doctrines; but only such doctrines could furnish reason for restricting marriage to male-female couples or romantic love dyads. Restrictions on marriage should thus be minimized. But public reason can provide a strong rationale for minimal marriage: care, and social supports for care, are a matter of fundamental justice. Part Two also responds to challenges posed by property division on divorce, polygyny, and supporting parenting, and builds on critiques of marriage drawn from feminism, queer theory, and race theory. It argues, using the example of minimal marriage, for the compatibility of liberalism and feminism. (shrink)
Does the concept of “race” find support in contemporary science, particularly in biology? No, says Naomi Zack, together with so many others who nowadays argue that human races lack biological reality. This claim is widely accepted in a number of fields (philosophy, biology, anthropology, and psychology), and Zack’s book represents only the latest defense of social constructivism in this context. There are several reasons why she fails to make a convincing case.