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"I'm Not a Racist, But...": The Moral Quandary of Race

reviewed by Walter Feinberg - 2003

coverTitle: "I'm Not a Racist, But...": The Moral Quandary of Race
Author(s): Lawrence Blum
Publisher: Cornell University Press, Ithaca
ISBN: 0801438691, Pages: 245, Year: 2001
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Moral terms have a way of migrating from one domain to another. Consider, for example, the way in which the term holocaust has been appropriated by opponents of abortion as well as by extreme animal rights groups. A term coined to refer to the intentional, systematic and collective destruction of Jews by Nazis is now used to condemn an individual woman’s decision to end a pregnancy and a consumer’s decision to eat meat. The appropriation is poignant precisely because the Nazi slaughter of Jews is, with the exceptions of a few lunatics, universally condemned. If the appropriation is accepted then moral arguments about the worth of a fetus or an animal compared to that of a fully formed human being are short-circuited.   There are, however, legitimate advantages that can be gained from appropriating moral terms. Moral concepts may undergo reasonable change as a result of new understandings, and concepts invented as a result of one situation can be productively loosened from their original mooring to... (preview truncated at 150 words.)

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 105 Number 1, 2003, p. 36-42
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 10942, Date Accessed: 7/30/2021 5:25:49 AM

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About the Author
  • Walter Feinberg
    The University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana
    E-mail Author
    WALTER FEINBERG is Professor of Philosophy of Education at the College of Education, The University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana. Feinberg's scholarship focuses on the relationship between democracy, work and education.
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