Review of 'Toward a Political Philosophy of Race'

African Studies Quarterly, Vol. 11, No. 4, p. 157, Summer 2010

5 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2011

See all articles by Andy Lamey

Andy Lamey

University of California, San Diego (UCSD), Division of Arts and Humanities, Department of Philosophy

Date Written: August 1, 2010

Abstract

Events involving the persecution of African‑Americans and other racial groups are normally thought to involve a pre-existing minority being singled out out for persecution. In Toward a Political Philosophy of Race, Falguni Sheth argues that this understanding gets the causal story backwards. In reality, a group that is perceived to pose a political threat has a racial identity imposed upon it by the state during episodes of oppression. On Sheth's account, racial identity is the product of anxiety and panic on the part of the wider society. As she puts it, 'I distinguish between racial markers - skin type, phenotype, physical differences, and signifiers such as 'unruly' behaviors.' The former, in my argument, are not the ground of race, but the marks ascribed to a group that has already become (or is in on the way to becoming) outcasted." This review critically assesses Sheth's argument for her position and her accompanying critique of liberalism.

Keywords: philosophy of race, continental philosophy, liberalism

Suggested Citation

Lamey, Andy, Review of 'Toward a Political Philosophy of Race' (August 1, 2010). African Studies Quarterly, Vol. 11, No. 4, p. 157, Summer 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1865303

Andy Lamey (Contact Author)

University of California, San Diego (UCSD), Division of Arts and Humanities, Department of Philosophy ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0119
United States

HOME PAGE: http://andylamey.com

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