Nineteenth-century intellectuals saw races as biological and political facts. Their twentieth-century successors rejected both propositions—but identities rooted in the reality or fantasy of shared ancestry remain central in politics, both within and between nations. NYU's Kwame Anthony Appiah discusses his recent article "Race in the Modern World" with Foreign Affairs Editor Gideon Rose.
This interview has been edited and condensed. A transcript is below:
ROSE: We live in a time where it seems like race saturates everything. Was it always this way?
APPIAH: I'm a philosopher, so in order to answer the question I have to ask us to