The Maverick Philosopher’s Maverick on Liberals and the Race Card

(This post is not one of the series of posts constituting the Introduction to Philosophy Initiative introduced in “Announcing the After Aristotle Introduction to Philosophy Initiative.”)

As I have noted in previous posts, such as the “ The Maverick and the Philosopher,” of January 4, 2015, there appears to be a dramatic difference between the maverick of the Maverick Philosopher blog and the philosopher, something close to night and day. Read, for example, the philosopher’s post of April 18, 2016, “On the Status of Thomistic Common Natures,” and his thoughtful responses to the comments the post gave rise to; I very much respect and appreciate in particular his engagement with my comments.

Then, however, read the maverick’s post of May 2, 2016, “Making America Mexico Again.” Therein one reads:

You can always count on a liberal to play the race card.  And so it is part of their reflexive and unreflective nature to label anyone who is not a liberal a racist.  It is a tactic that has proven effective.  So of course Trump is called a racist.  I see no evidence that he is.

Now I know that the maverick can understand the fundamentals of temporal logic. This is evident in his April 30, 2016, post, “It Depends on the Question, Hillary,” where he quotes her as having said, “We must teach our children that guns are never the answer,” even as she is protected by a number of well-armed Secret Service agents. The maverick has very succinctly pointed out that Ms. Clinton has demonstrated amply that she accepts the truth of the proposition, “Guns are at least sometimes the answer,” contradicting her (I assume the attribution is accurate) own thesis, “Guns are never the answer.” Of course we knew that already.

I’ll hazard the guess that the truth lies in the conjunction, “Guns are at least sometimes the answer and guns are at least sometimes not the answer.” More generally, I’ll hazard the reflection that metaphysically contingent things are seldom either always or never the case.

But the maverick has something of a similar problem with his statement, “You can always count on a liberal to play the race card,” i.e., just to be careful, “It is always the case that one can count on a liberal to play the race card.” Again relying, however, on the reflection that metaphysically contingent things are seldom either always or never the case, I’ll hazard the guess that the proposition contradicting his, “It is not always the case that one can count on a liberal to play the race card,” or “It is sometimes not the case that one can count on a liberal to play the race card,” is true; in fact, I’ll not just hazard the guess, I’ll offer a case in point: I am not now playing the race card.

Perhaps the philosopher of the Maverick Philosopher will persuade the maverick to join with me in upholding the conjunction, “It is not always the case that one can count on a liberal to play the race card and it is not never the case, i.e., it is at least sometimes the case, that one can count on a liberal to play the race card.”

There is, however, more, for the maverick also says:

To repeat, a salient feature of liberals and leftists — there isn’t much difference nowadays — is their willingness to ‘play the race card,’ to inject race into every issue. The issue of illegal immigration has nothing to do with race since illegal immigrants do not constitute a race. There is no such race as the race of ‘llegal [sic] aliens.’ Opposition to them, therefore, cannot be racist.

Let us focus on the second and third sentences of the passage:

The issue of illegal immigration has nothing to do with race since illegal immigrants do not constitute a race. There is no such race as the race of illegal aliens.

There are, it is evident, two arguments here. The first is:

There is no such race as the race of illegal aliens.

Therefore, illegal aliens do not constitute a race.

That argument is valid. Moreover, it is sound, since both the premise and the conclusion stand as truths of biological science, albeit truths hardly needing statement.

But the same cannot be said for the second, even though its premise is true:

Illegal aliens do not constitute a race.

Therefore, the issue of illegal immigration has nothing to do with race.

We can perhaps most easily see that the argument is not valid by briefly examining a parallel argument, one bearing on the victims of lynching in the more southerly of the United States. The statement paralleling the second and third sentences of the maverick’s passage will read:

The issue of lynching has nothing to do with race since victims of lynching do not constitute a race. There is no such race as the race of victims of lynching.

There are, it is evident, two arguments here. The first is:

There is no such race as the race of victims of lynching.

Therefore, victims of lynching do not constitute a race.

That argument is valid. Moreover, it is sound, since both the premise and the conclusion stand as truths of biological science, albeit truths hardly needing statement.

But the same cannot be said for the second, even though its premise is true:

Victims of lynching do not constitute a race.

Therefore, the issue of lynching has nothing to do with race.

I will take it as evident that the issue of lynching in the more southerly of the United States had at least something to do with race. The conclusion, then, of the argument is false. Since, however, the premise is true, and an argument of which the premise is true and the conclusion false is an invalid argument, the argument is invalid.

One might then think that perhaps the fact that victims of lynching do not constitute a race does not mean that the issue of lynching has nothing to do with race. Similarly, one might also think that perhaps the fact that illegal aliens do not constitute a race does not mean that the issue of illegal aliens has nothing to do with race.

Until next time.

Richard

 

About Rchard E. Hennessey

See above, "About the Author/Editor."
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2 Responses to The Maverick Philosopher’s Maverick on Liberals and the Race Card

  1. Bill Bean says:

    These thoughts lead one ontologically. Or more sucinctly tend to lead one unto that realm of reasoning which is logical. (Incidently I was reading your blog because of acute insomnea and it helped me.Zzzzzzzzz.

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