Color Conscious: The Political Morality of Race / Edition 1

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Overview

"Appiah and Gutmann articulate with precision and subtlety those intricate issues of race that confound us all."--Toni Morrison

"Color Conscious is an extremely welcome addition to the discourse on race. In different but complementary ways, Appiah and Gutmann articulate with precision and subtlety those intricate issues of race that confound us all."--Toni Morrison, author of Jazz, Beloved, Song of Solomon, and other literary works

"Without dogma or cant, two of our most challenging and clear-eyed public philosophers explore the real meanings of culture and identity. An invaluable resource for all who want to think responsibly about the racial dilemmas facing our nation."--Henry Louis Gates, Jr., W.E.B. DuBois Professor of the Humanities and Chair of the Afro-American Studies Department, Harvard University

"This volume brings together two sets of conversations, one about justice and fundamental fairness, the other about racial identity. Anthony Appiah and Amy Gutmann, two 'passionate democrats,' lower the decibel level and raise by several units of decency and infinite degrees of intelligence the caliber of public discourse on race. Assisted by Harvard professor David Wilkins' wonderful introduction, these formidable scholars each remind us that principles of justice and ideas about race are interdependent and must speak to the actual conditions in which we live."--Lani Guinier

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Editorial Reviews

Boston Globe - James O. Freedman
Gutmann's essay shines with a brilliance of analysis worthy of widespread attention.
From the Publisher

Winner of the 1997 Ralph J. Bunche Award, American Political Science Association

Named an Outstanding Book by the Gustavus Meyers Center for the Study of Human Rights in North America for 1998

Winner of the 1997 Book Award of the North American Society for Social Philosophy

"Gutmann's essay shines with a brilliance of analysis worthy of widespread attention."--James O. Freedman, Boston Globe

"Despite tremendous ongoing discussion of racial issues in this country, American opinions about race remain contentious and nowhere near a national consensus. . .Each co-author devotes one-half of the book to his or her efforts to bring insight and illumination to what is an often gloomy conversation."--Washington Post Book World

Boston Globe
Gutmann's essay shines with a brilliance of analysis worthy of widespread attention.
— James O. Freedman
Washington Post Book World
Despite tremendous ongoing discussion of racial issues in this country, American opinions about race remain contentious and nowhere near a national consensus. . .Each co-author devotes one-half of the book to his or her efforts to bring insight and illumination to what is an often gloomy conversation.
Boston Globe

Gutmann's essay shines with a brilliance of analysis worthy of widespread attention.
— James O. Freedman
Washington Post Book World

Despite tremendous ongoing discussion of racial issues in this country, American opinions about race remain contentious and nowhere near a national consensus. . .Each co-author devotes one-half of the book to his or her efforts to bring insight and illumination to what is an often gloomy conversation.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Appiah, a Harvard philosophy professor, and Gutmann, dean of the faculty at Princeton, add an academic gloss to two issues already much debated today: the legitimacy of the notion of "race" and whether color-blind policies can further justice in America. Appiah's sometimes ponderous philosophical excursion reminds us that the notion of race fails as a biological construct (despite contemporary efforts like The Bell Curve to prove otherwise), but he does acknowledge that race shapes social identity in America. But because America's racial groups do not necessarily share a single culture, Appiah protests, as others have, that there should not be one way to be "black" and hopes for the possibility of multiple identities and allegiances. Gutmann's essay returns us to the here and now, calling for color consciousness, which acknowledges the effects of race without assuming genetic determinism. She argues that "fairness" comes closer to justice than color-blindness, and that color-conscious policiesrather than class-conscious onescan address the effects of race. Gutmann makes a distinction between "affirmative action" and more regrettable "preferential treatment" that may be disputed; she does acknowledge that color-consciousness today aims to achieve a future color-blind society. (Nov.)
Henry Louis Gates
Without dogma or cant, two of our most challenging and clear-eyed public philosophers explore the real meanings of culture and identity. An invaluable resource for all who want to think responsibly about the racial dilemmas facing our nation. -- Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691059099
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 3/16/1998
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 200
  • Sales rank: 1,441,417
  • Product dimensions: 6.11 (w) x 8.95 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Kwame Anthony Appiah

Kwame Anthony Appiah, the president of the PEN American Center, is the author of The Ethics of Identity, Thinking It Through: An Introduction to Contemporary Philosophy, The Honor Code and the prize-winning Cosmopolitanism.
Raised in Ghana and educated in England, he has taught philosophy on three continents and is currently a professor at Princeton University.

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Table of Contents


Introduction: The Context of Race DAVID B. WILKINS 3
Race, Culture, Identity: Misunderstood Connections K. ANTHONY APPIAH 30
Part 1. Analysis. Against Races 30
Part 2. Synthesis: For Racial Identities 74
Responding to Racial Injustice AMY GUTMANN 106
Part 1. Why Question the Terms of Our Public Debate? 108
Part 2. Must Public Policy Be Color Blind? 118
Part 3. Should Public Policy Be Class Conscious Rather than Color Conscious? 138
Part 4. Why Not Aim for Proportional Representation by Race? 151
Part 5. What's Morally Relevant about Racial Identity? 163
Epilogue K. ANTHONY APPIAH 179
Index 185
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