Sally Haslanger's Definition Of Racism, By Tommie Shelby

Philosophers have developed concepts they consider are sufficient for defining racism. One philosopher is Tommie Shelby. Shelby presents his reasoning for why we should view racism as an ideology, or a system of beliefs that constitute social oppression. Shelby opposes Garcia who accepts that beliefs do not contribute to racism because one should be able to explain one’s beliefs; in some cases, the subjects cannot. This means that racial discrimination is not just about the individual but also society. Garcia suggests volitions are sufficient to define racism. I will present Shelby’s reasoning and understanding of racism, later introducing another philosopher, Sally Haslanger, who expands upon and presents her view of Shelby’s claim that ideology is necessary for racism.
Garcia proposes the definition of racism as volitions, i.e., feelings, emotions, and desires. Garcia states that racism is not conceptualized as certain beliefs held by the person about a race, rather, attitudes, motives, and volitions held by that person. Garcia formulates the idea of racism in the heart, meaning volitions are essential for the heart to be involved in attitudes and actions to justify as racism. He goes on saying those racist beliefs are secondary features of racism, thus being logically unnecessary.
Shelby gives a critical examination of
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This exploration of racial discrimination has sought to define racism not as a personal vice, but as an ideology. While Shelby directly rejects Garcia’s individual approach to racism, his subsequent definition of racism as an ideology allows for considerable flexibility. Haslinger perspective is a testament to this flexibility: she embraces Shelby’s idea of racism as an ideology but seeks to consider the broader social factors and mechanisms that the ideology exists

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