Institutional Scholarship

And It Spreads: The Observable Reality of Race

TriCollege Digital Repository

Title: And It Spreads: The Observable Reality of Race
Author: Daise, David
Department: Haverford College. Dept. of Philosophy
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Issue Date: 2010
Abstract: Lucius Outlaw claims that the notion of Race contradicts the philosophical commitment to Modernity. Race and Modernity are incongruent in regard to their conceptual frameworks for what constitutes people. While Modernity asserts a unity between people such that everyone is fundamentally the same, the concept of Race attempts to organize people into hierarchical groups. This contradiction requires that the two notions undergo some kind of revision. There are three possibilities for revising the incompatibility: to revise Race to work within the Modern framework, revise the framework of Modernity to include a coherent notion of Race, or revise both Race and Modernity. Outlaw revises both Race and Modernity. He treats Race and its constitutive parts as linguistic concepts that exist as a function of human cognition or recognition of them and change according to historical recognition. While the Modern view examines concepts as representing kinds that exist in the world, post-Modernism examines concepts as historically evolving and linguistic. Therefore Outlaw examines Race through a post-Modern framework. However, Outlaw’s post-Modern examination is not necessary if Race is a physically manifest and intuitively understood concept that takes on projected significance from complex social interactions. Hume’s discussion of causality provides an illustrative example of separating an observation from the projection put onto it. I will use Hume’s fundamentally Modern examination of and framework for causality to establish a parallel framework for separating the essential features of the concept of Race from projections put onto it. My framework for Race is compatible with Modernity and brings up the question of whether an accurate conception of Race requires a rejection of Modernity.
Subject: Race relations -- Philosophy
Subject: Ethnicity -- Philosophy
Subject: Outlaw, Lucius T., 1944- -- Criticism and interpretation
Subject: Outlaw, Lucius T., 1944- Critical social theory in the interests of black folks
Subject: Hume, David, 1711-1776. Contributions in theory of causation
Subject: Postmodernism
Terms of Use:
Permanent URL:

Files in this item

Files Description Size Format
2010DaiseD_thesis.pdf Thesis 97.24Kb PDF
2010DaiseD_release.pdf **Archive Staff Only** 9.919Kb PDF


Daise, David. "And It Spreads: The Observable Reality of Race". 2010. Available electronically from

This item appears in the following Collection(s) Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as


Advanced Search


My Account