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For our first look at Appiah, let's build on our discussions about...

For our first look at Appiah, let's build on our discussions about (1) the connections between knowledge and power and (2) how they are used to discipline and organize society. Appiah addresses a particular manifestation of those issues--our conceptualization of race and its role in shaping our identity. He writes, "It does not follow from the fact that identification shapes action, shapes life plans, that the identification itself must be thought of as voluntary. I don't recall ever choosing to identify as a male; but being male has shaped many of my plans and actions. In fact, where my ascriptive identity is one on which almost all my fellow citizens agree, I am likely to have little sense of choice about whether the identity is mine; though I can choose how central my identification with it will be--choose, that is, how much I will organize my life around that identity" (45). what Appiah's thoughts illuminate about how we are taught to examine ourselves and others and define our place in the world. How are we taught what we "know" about other people and ourselves? In the case of race, how are we taught what that means and what its significance is? Why does the concept of race count as social knowledge at all?

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Race, Culture, Identity: Misunderstood Connections K. ANTHONY APPIAH T HE T ANNER LECTURES ON H UMAN V ALUES Delivered at University of California at San Diego October 27 and 28, 1994
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86 pages
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