race

The reading from James focuses on the nature of race. Many scholars believe that while the concept of race purports to be a biological or genetic classification of humans, it is faulty because racial categories do not pick out real biological or genetic kinds of persons. Human attitudes and choices crucially factor into the classification.

Do you agree that race is a faulty concept, and that racial classifications are social constructions rather than natural kinds discovered (purely) in biology or genetics?

The reading from Appiah addresses a recent trend in our society that emphasizes parts of a person’s identity (such as race or sexual orientation) as qualifying or disqualifying that person to speak about certain topics. Do you agree with Appiah? Why do you agree or disagree with him?

The reading from Pojman criticizes arguments for Preferential Affirmative Action. Let’s try to separate what he argues for, from the blithe manner in which he argues.

Do you think Pojman succeeds in proving his conclusion that we should end Preferential Affirmative Action programs? If so, then what other way could our society address its history of injustices? If you think Pojman does not succeed, then please clarify the goal and the appropriate means of enacting Affirmative Action, as you see things.

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