Race and racial cognition

In John Michael Doris (ed.), The Moral Psychology Handbook. Oxford University Press (2010)

Abstract

A core question of contemporary social morality concerns how we ought to handle racial categorization. By this we mean, for instance, classifying or thinking of a person as Black, Korean, Latino, White, etc.² While it is widely FN:2 agreed that racial categorization played a crucial role in past racial oppression, there remains disagreement among philosophers and social theorists about the ideal role for racial categorization in future endeavors. At one extreme of this disagreement are short-term eliminativists who want to do away with 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 end of the spectrum, 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). While extreme forms of conservationism have fewer proponents in academia than the most radical eliminativist positions, many theorists advocate more moderate positions. In between the two poles, there are many who believe that racial categorization is valuable (and perhaps necessary) given the continued existence of racial inequality and the lingering effects of past racism (e.g. Haslanger, 2000; Mills, 1998; Root, 2000; Shelby, 2002, 2005; Sundstrom, 2002; Taylor, 2004; Young, 1989). Such authors agree on the short-term need for racial categorization in at least some domains, but they often differ with regard to its long-term value

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Author Profiles

Edouard Machery
University of Pittsburgh
Ron Mallon
Washington University in St. Louis
Daniel Kelly
Purdue University

Citations of this work

On the Epistemic Costs of Implicit Bias.Tamar Szabó Gendler - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 156 (1):33-63.
The Roots of Racial Categorization.Ben Phillips - 2021 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 13 (1):151-175.
A Framework for the Emotional Psychology of Group Membership.Taylor Davis & Daniel Kelly - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-22.
Heated Agreement: Lack of Character as Being for the Good.John M. Doris - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 148 (1):135-146.

View all 17 citations / Add more citations

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