Rethinking Race

Rethinking Race

The Case for Deflationary Realism

Book - 2017
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Because science has shown that racial essentialism is false, and because the idea of race has proved virulent, many people believe we should eliminate the word and concept entirely. Michael O. Hardimon criticizes this line of thinking, arguing that we must recognize the real ways in which race exists in order to revise our understanding of its significance. Pernicious, traditional racialism maintains that people can be ranked according to innate racial features. Those who would eliminate race make the mistake of associating the word only with this view. Hardimon agrees that this concept should be jettisoned, but draws a distinction with three alternative ideas: a stripped-down version of the ordinary concept that recognizes physical differences but considers them insignificant; a scientific understanding of populations with shared lines of descent; and an acknowledgement of "socialrace" as a separate construction. Hardimon provides a language for understanding ways that races do and do not exist. His account is realistic in recognizing the physical features of races and the existence of races in our social world. But it is deflationary in rejecting the concept of hierarchical, defining racial characteristics. Rethinking Race offers a philosophical basis for repudiating racism without blinding ourselves to reality.-- Provided by publisher
Publisher: Cambridge, Massachusetts : Harvard University Press, 2017
ISBN: 9780674975668
0674975669
Characteristics: 226 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm

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