Philosophy of the Social Sciences 20 (3):317-350 (1990)
Two classes of argument, logical and moral, are usually offered for the general assumption that racism is inherently irrational. The logical arguments involve accusations concerning stereotyping (category mistakes and empirical errors resulting from overgeneralization) as well as inconsistencies between attitudes and behavior and inconsistencies in beliefs. Moral arguments claim that racism fails as means to well-defined ends, or that racist acts achieve ends other than moral ones. Based on a rationality-neutral definition of racism, it is argued in this article that none of these arguments establish exhaustively that racism is inherently irrational. Ways are suggested to proceed in condemning racism(s) as morally and socially unacceptable, independent of the irrationality claim
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