Pragmatism and ethnicity: Critique, reconstruction, and the New Hispanic

José Medina*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


In this essay I examine the contributions of the pragmatist tradition to the philosophy of ethnicity. From the pragmatist philosophies of Dewey and Locke I derive a reconstructive model for the clarification and improvement of the life experiences of ethnic groups. Addressing various problems and objections, I argue that this Deweyan and Lockean reconstructive model rejects any sharp separation between race and ethnicity and avoids the pitfalls of the biologist race paradigm and the culturalist ethnicity paradigm. I explore some of the social and political implications of this reconstructive model through a discussion of José Martí's inspiring account of Hispanic identity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-146
Number of pages32
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2004


  • Alain Locke
  • Critique
  • Ethnicity
  • Hispanic philosophy
  • Identity
  • John Dewey
  • José Martí
  • Liberation
  • Pragmatism
  • Race
  • Reconstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


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