By David Boonin
During this booklet, thinker David Boonin makes an attempt to reply to the ethical questions raised via 5 very important and generally contested racial practices: slave reparations, affirmative motion, hate speech regulations, hate crime legislation, and racial profiling. Arguing from premises that just about all people on either side of the debates over those concerns already accepts, Boonin arrives at an strange and unorthodox set of conclusions, one who is neither liberal nor conservative, colour unsleeping nor colour blind. Defended with the rigor that has characterised his earlier paintings yet written in a extra extensively available variety, this provocative and significant new booklet is bound to spark controversy and may be of curiosity to philosophers, criminal theorists, and a person drawn to attempting to get to the bottom of the controversy over those vital and divisive concerns.
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Extra info for Should Race Matter? Unusual Answers to the Usual Questions
One would therefore expect to find a powerful clash of positions. But a careful study of both books reveals that, in this case at least, the two sides of the debate are talking entirely past each other. And this is so precisely because the two sides are using the term “race” to mean fundamentally different things. ”3 On this use of the term, a race is a subset of the human species that has some fixed, immutable essence that’s shared by every human being who is a member of the subset and by no human being who is not.
3. Reparations for historical injustices. 4. Affirmative action programs. 5. Hate crimes. I. Title. 8–dc22 2011003648 ISBN 978-0-521-76086-7 Hardback ISBN 978-0-521-14980-8 Paperback Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-party Internet Web sites referred to in this publication and does not guarantee that any content on such Web sites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate. For my parents, my wife, and my children Contents Preface 1 Thinking in Black and White: An Introduction to the Moral Questions that America’s Past Raises about Its Present 2 Repairing the Slave Reparations Debate: How I Got into an Argument with Myself about David Horowitz and Lost 3 Advancing the Slave Reparations Debate: Bonus Objections, Bonus Responses, and a Modest Proposal 4 One Cheer for Affirmative Action: Why There’s Nothing Wrong with Abandoning Racial Preferences 5 Two Cheers for Affirmative Action: Why There’s Nothing Wrong with Not Abandoning Racial Preferences, Either 6 Why I Used to Hate Hate Speech Restrictions: Appeals to Traditional Exceptions to Freedom of Expression and Why They All Fail 7 Why I Still Hate Hate Speech Restrictions: New and Improved Exceptions to Freedom of Expression and Why They Fail, Too 8 How to Stop Worrying and Learn to Love Hate Crime Laws: Why Objections to Hate Speech Restrictions Don’t Work as Objections to Hate Crime Laws 9 How to Keep on Loving Hate Crime Laws: Why Other Objections to Hate Crime Laws Don’t Work, Either 10 Is Racial Profiling Irrational?
Some people treat the line between black and white as essentially a matter of biology. Birds come in different varieties, dogs come in different breeds and, on this account, people come in different races. We recognize a line between white people and black people on this view because nature itself has drawn this line. Others treat race as something that’s a fundamentally social construction. Nature doesn’t tell us whether to call Pluto a planet, for example. We decide whether to call it a planet.