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In Race: A Philosophical Introduction, Second Edition , Paul C. Taylor provides an accessible guide to a well-travelled but still-mysterious area of the contemporary social landscape. As in the first edition, the book blends metaphysics and social philosophy, analytic philosophy and pragmatic philosophy of experience. In this thoroughly updated and revised volume, Taylor outlines the main features and implications of race-thinking, while engaging the ideas of such important figures as Linda Alcoff, K. Anthony Appiah, W. E. B. Du Bois, Michel Foucault, Sally Haslanger, and Howard Winant. The result is a comprehensive but accessible introduction to philosophical race theory and to a non-biological and situational notion of race.
The book unfolds in a sequence of five chapters, each devoted to one of the following questions: What is race-thinking? Don’t we know better than to talk about race now? Are there any races? What is it like to have a racial identity? And how important, ethically, is colorblindness? On the way to answering these questions, Race takes up topics like mixed-race identity, white supremacy, the relationship between the race concept and other social identity categories and the impact of race-thinking on our erotic and romantic lives. The second edition’s new concluding chapter explores the racially fraught issues of policing, immigration, and global justice, and interrogates the thought that Barack Obama has ushered in a post-racial age. This volume is suitable for the educated general reader as well as for students and scholars in ethnic studies, philosophy, sociology, and other related fields.
Paul C. Taylor is associate professor and acting chair at Pennsylvania State University.