Monday, December 03, 2018

Political Correctness And Race, Again

More and more I'm inclined to think that the central characteristic of the PC left is its ability to stare straight at the fact that p and declare that not-p. In fact, to declare that only a bigot could even entertain the thought that maybe p...
   I first encountered something like this kind of delusional dogmatism in the religious right. But it was far less virulent. At least those people were convinced of otherworldly fantasies. They were making up stories and insisting that they had to be right. They weren't looking right at a tree and declaring it a cow.
   One way you can tell that it's political correctness that's motivating this race nominalism is: you'll almost never encounter a discussion of the metaphysics that doesn't include some mention of the moral/political question. But, of course, the metaphysical and moral/political questions must be kept separate. That's the primest of prime directives here. Violate that principle consistently, and that's the end of everything.
   The two thinks that sustain race nominalism, IMO, are: (a) the moral/political motive and (b) our intellectual milieu's background nominalism. The PCs adopt race nominalism because they think it will help with the anti-racism project--a laudable goal in and of itself, obviously. And nominalism is the kind of political view that people who don't know any philosophy, but think they should, default to when the question arises. Being a nominalist is easier than actually thinking about the problem. (Man, that kind of snark is part of the problem... I suck...) Nominalism has its legitimate allure. It also sounds parsimonious/bleak...therefore sophisticated. But IMO there's no way to work it consistently into a plausible worldview. Not one that includes a realist view of science, anyway. (Not that Appiah doesn't know his shit; he does...he's respectably wrong about it.)
   Races are tiny little natural kinds. They don't matter much...but real and insignificant is different than fictional.


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