Racial Rights and Wrongs

Radical Philosophy Review 18 (1):11-30 (2015)
Abstract
Derrick Darby’s book Rights, Race, and Recognition defends the seemingly startling thesis that all rights, moral as well as legal, are dependent upon social recognition. So there are no “natural” rights independent of social practices, and subordinated groups in oppressive societies do not have rights. Darby appeals to intersubjectivist constructivism to make his meta-ethical case, but in this critique, I argue that he conflates, or at least fails to consistently distinguish, two radically different varieties of constructivism: idealized intersubjectivist constructivism, which is objectivist, and non-idealized conventionalist constructivism, which is relativist. In neither case, then, can Darby establish the shocking thesis that white supremacy objectively takes away blacks’ moral standing.
Keywords Social and Political Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 1388-4441
DOI 10.5840/radphilrev20153330
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