Race Thought Experiment #2

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If someone appeared out of nowhere who was an exact duplicate of Chris Rock, would he be black? Would he be a memer of the same race as Chris Rock? Why or why not?

Would you say the same if it was a duplicate of Britney Spears? Would her duplicate be white? Why or why not?

Would a duplicate of Dwayne Johnson have the same racial status (whatever you think that is) as Dwayne Johnson? Why or why not?

If you answer any of these questions differently, what makes the difference between the different cases and why would that be?


I wouldn't place him in the same race because he has no history of that race. Descriptively I'd say "He looks like a black guy" but that's probably as far as I'd go. Same thing with Britney Spears. Same thing with Dwayne Johnson with the caveat that I won't be able to say "He looks like a Mixed guy" but might be able to say "He looks like a Hispanic guy." even knowing that that's not Dwayne Johnson's racial heritage.

The descriptive features is the difference for what I would say but the lack of parents would be the thing that, for me, determines race.

In all cases, the duplicate would be the same race as the original. The duplicate's lack of experience with the reality of race would not last for long, although it is not my claim that the duplicate would lack a race during the time in which s/he was unfamiliar with racial concepts (it can be argued, however, that s/he would lack a racial identity during that time, insofar as having a race and having a racial identity are distinct).

It would be a different case for them to lack knowledge about races. Such a person would not be an exact duplicate. An exact duplicate of Chris Rock would have all of Chris Rock's beliefs and opinions about race and would think about himself everything Chris Rock thinks about himself.

Then it just seems *totally* obvious to me that these duplicates would be the same races as their originals.

And yet there are prominent philosophers who would deny that they're even human, never mind of any race within humanity, due to their lack of any human ancestry.

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