chapter  10
18 Pages

The Myth of Race and the Human Sciences

WithJohn H. Stanfield

This chapter presents a critical assessment of two major schools of thought in the human sciences relative to the mythology of race: logical positivism and social realism. In examining both the logical positivistic and social realist perspectives, it becomes clear in different ways that the sciences, particularly the human sciences, have been preoccupied with black people as a negative presence in American society. In the logical positivistic framework, the problem of black people has been articulated as an objective concern articulated through scaling and measuring race as a quantifiable or qualitative factor. The social realists, view the human sciences as social, cultural, and political economic products and processes that are rooted in a race-centered society. In this sense, black people are a persistent social problem and an integral part of the construction of the human sciences and their historical evolution.