Concepts as Tools Not Rules: a Commentary on (Re-) Defining Racism

Mendoza, José Jorge. "Concepts as Tools Not Rules: a Commentary on (Re-) Defining Racism." Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 24 no. 2 (2021): 661-666.

In (Re) Defining Racism, Alberto Urquidez argues that conflicting philosophical accounts over the definition of racism are at bottom linguistic confusions that would benefit from a Wittgensteinian-inspired approach. In this essay, I argue that such an approach would be helpful in disputes over the definition of metaphysically contested concepts, such as “race,” or semantically contested concepts, such as “racialization.” I disagree, however, that such insights would prove helpful or do very little for disputes concerning normatively contested concepts, such as “racism.”

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