By K. Anthony Appiah

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56 The result is that, even if the four roughly separated populations of the four continents from which the ancestors of most Americans came had each been much less genetically variable than was in fact the case, there would still be large numbers of people whose skin color predicts very few other biological properties. 18 Why There Are No Races W e have followed enough of the history of the race concept and said enough about current biological conceptions to answer, on both ideational and referential view, the question whether there are any races.

44-45. 2 percent difference in genetic material between any two randomly chosen people on Earth. Of that diversity, 85 percent will be found within any local group of people -say, between you and your neighbor. More than half ( 9 percent) of the remaining 15 percent will be represented by differences between ethnic and linguistic groups within a given race (for example, between Italians and French). Only 6 percent represents differences between races (for example, between Europeans and Asians).

As I spent some time arguing earlier, we can ask whether someone is really of a black race, because the constitution of this identity is generally theoretically committed: we expect people of a certain race to behave a certain way not simply because they are conforming to the script for that identity, performing that role, but because they have certain antecedent properties that are consequences of the label's properly applying to them. It is because ascription of racial identities - the process of applying the label to people, including ourselves -is based on more than intentional identification that there can be a gap between what people ascriptively are and the racial identity they perform: it is this gap that makes passing possible.

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Race, Culture, Identity: Misunderstood Connections by K. Anthony Appiah


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