chapter  15
13 Pages

Analytic Metaphysics

Race and Racial Identity
WithJorge J. E. Gracia, Susan L. Smith

Most analytic philosophers have tended to address what they consider to be more pressing practical problems having to do with the ethics and politics of race. This contrasts with the greater emphasis that Continental philosophers, for example, have given race, although they, even more than analytic philosophers, have neglected the metaphysics of race. Analytic philosophy was born at the beginning of the twentieth century as a reaction against what were perceived to be the speculative excesses, unclear exposition, and muddled thinking of nineteenth century idealism and its disregard for empirical science and the rigor of logic. Jorge J. E. Gracia begins by making a distinction between "a races" considered as a group of people, "race" considered as a property of members of a group, and "racial identity" which is the possession of the racial property. These correspond with, but are different from, "an ethnos", "ethnicity" and "ethnic identity."