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Race as a Biological Kind
  1. Stephen G. Alter (2008). “Curiously Parallel”: Analogies of Language and Race in Darwin's Descent of Man. A Reply to Gregory Radick. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 39 (3):355-358.
    In the second chapter of The descent of man , Charles Darwin interrupted his discussion of the evolutionary origins of language to describe ten ways in which the formation of languages and of biological species were ‘curiously’ similar. I argue that these comparisons served mainly as analogies in which linguistic processes stood for aspects of biological evolution. Darwin used these analogies to recapitulate themes from On the origin of species , including common descent, genealogical classification, the struggle for existence, and (...)
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  2. Stephen G. Alter (2007). Separated at Birth: The Interlinked Origins of Darwin's Unconscious Selection Concept and the Application of Sexual Selection to Race. [REVIEW] Journal of the History of Biology 40 (2):231 - 258.
    This essay traces the interlinked origins of two concepts found in Charles Darwin's writings: "unconscious selection," and sexual selection as applied to humanity's anatomical race distinctions. Unconscious selection constituted a significant elaboration of Darwin's artificial selection analogy. As originally conceived in his theoretical notebooks, that analogy had focused exclusively on what Darwin later would call "methodical selection," the calculated production of desired changes in domestic breeds. By contrast, unconscious selection produced its results unintentionally and at a much slower pace. Inspiration (...)
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  3. M. Andreae (2004). Prenatal Sex and Race Determination is a Slippery Slope. Journal of Medical Ethics 30 (4):376-376.
    I am deeply worried about your guest editorial,1 please allow me a few bullet points: Trying to dispel some of the counterarguments to sex selection, your argument of prospective parents’ autonomy is void. If anyone has a right to determine his or her sex, it would be the person concerned, in this case the unborn child. ….
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  4. Robin O. Andreasen (2005). The Meaning of 'Race'. Journal of Philosophy 102 (2):94 - 106.
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  5. Robin O. Andreasen (2004). The Cladistic Race Concept: A Defense. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 19 (3):425-442.
    Many contemporary race scholars reject the biological reality of race.Elsewhere I have argued that they have been too quick to do so. Part ofthe reason is that they have overlooked the possibility that races canbe defined cladistically. Since the publication of the cladistic raceconcept, a number of questions and objections have been raised. My aimin this paper is to address these objections.
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  6. Robin O. Andreasen (2000). Race: Biological Reality or Social Construct? Philosophy of Science 67 (3):666.
    Race was once thought to be a real biological kind. Today the dominant view is that objective biological races don't exist. I challenge the trend to reject the biological reality of race by arguing that cladism (a school of classification that individuates taxa by appeal to common ancestry) provides a new way to define race biologically. I also reconcile the proposed biological conception with constructivist theories about race. Most constructivists assume that biological realism and social constructivism are incompatible views about (...)
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  7. Robin O. Andreasen (1998). A New Perspective on the Race Debate. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 49 (2):199-225.
    In the ongoing debate concerning the nature of human racial categories, there is a trend to reject the biological reality of race in favour of the view that races are social constructs. At work here is the assumption that biological reality and social constructivism are incompatible. I oppose the trend and the assumption by arguing that cladism, in conjunction with current work in human evolution, provides a new way to define race biologically. Defining race in this way makes sense when (...)
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  8. Jonny Anomaly (2014). Race, Genes, and the Ethics of Belief: A Review of Nicholas Wade, A Troublesome Inheritance. [REVIEW] Hastings Center Report 44 (5):51-52.
  9. Kwame Anthony Appiah (2006). How to Decide If Races Exist. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 106 (3):363–380.
    Through most of the twentieth century, life scientists grew increasingly sceptical of the biological significance of folk classifications of people by race. New work on the human genome has raised the possibility of a resurgence of scientific interest in human races. This paper aims to show that the racial sceptics are right, while also granting that biological information associated with racial categories may be useful.
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  10. Tommy J. Curry (2010). Concerning the Underspecialization of Race Theory in American Philosophy: How the Exclusion of Black Sources Affects the Field. The Pluralist 5 (1):44-64.
    Despite the recent rise in articles by American philosophers willing to deal with race, the sophistication of American philosophy's conceptualizations of American racism continues to lag behind other liberal arts fields committed to similar endeavors. Whereas other fields like American studies, history, sociology, and Black studies have found the foundational works of Black scholars essential to "truly" understanding the complexities of racism, American philosophy-driven by the refusal of white philosophers to acknowledge and incorporate the foundational works of Black scholars at (...)
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  11. Joshua Glasgow (2011). Another Look at the Reality of Race, by Which I Mean Race-F. In Allan Hazlett (ed.), New Waves in Metaphysics.
    Recently the idea that race is biologically real has gained more traction. One argument against this claim is that the populations identified by science do not sufficiently map onto the concept of race as deployed in the relevant racial discourse, namely folk racial discourse. Call that concept the concept of race-f. Robin Andreasen (2005) argues that this "mismatch" criticism fails, on a variety of grounds including: ordinary folk semantically defer to scientists; scientists can disagree about facts; historians disagree about the (...)
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  12. Joshua Glasgow (2009). In Defense of a Four-Part Theory: Replies to Hardimon, Haslanger, Mallon, and Zack. Symposia on Gender, Race, and Philosophy 5 (2):1-18.
  13. Joshua M. Glasgow (2003). On the New Biology of Race. Journal of Philosophy 100 (9):456 - 474.
  14. David Miguel Gray (2013). Racial Norms: A Reinterpretation of Du Bois' “The Conservation of Races”. Southern Journal of Philosophy 51 (4):465-487.
    I argue that standard explanations of Du Bois' theory of race inappropriately characterize his view as attempting to provide descriptive criteria for races. Such an interpretation makes it both susceptible to Appiah's circularity objection and alienates it from Du Bois' central project of solidarity—which is the central point of “Conservation.” I propose that we should understand his theory as providing a normative account of race: an attempt to characterize what some races should be in terms of what other races are. (...)
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  15. Adam Hochman (2013). Against the New Racial Naturalism. Journal of Philosophy (6):331–51.
    Support for the biological concept of race declined slowly but steadily during the second half of the twentieth century. However, debate about the validity of the race concept has recently been reignited. Genetic-clustering studies have shown that despite the small proportion of genetic variation separating continental populations, it is possible to assign some (geographically separated and not recently admixed) individuals to their (or their ancestors’) continents of origin, based on genetic data alone. Race naturalists have interpreted these studies as empirically (...)
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  16. Adam Hochman (2013). Racial Discrimination: How Not to Do It. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C (3):278-286.
    The UNESCO Statements on Race of the early 1950s are understood to have marked a consensus amongst natural scientists and social scientists that ‘race’ is a social construct. Human biological diversity was shown to be predominantly clinal, or gradual, not discreet, and clustered, as racial naturalism implied. From the seventies social constructionists added that the vast majority of human genetic diversity resides within any given racialised group. While social constructionism about race became the majority consensus view on the topic, social (...)
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  17. Jonathan Michael Kaplan & Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther (2014). Realism, Antirealism, and Conventionalism About Race. Philosophy of Science 81:1039-1052.
    This paper distinguishes three concepts of "race": bio-genomic cluster/race, biological race, and social race. We map out realism, antirealism, and conventionalism about each of these, in three important historical episodes: Frank Livingstone and Theodosius Dobzhansky in 1962, A.W.F. Edwards' 2003 response to Lewontin (1972), and contemporary discourse. Semantics is especially crucial to the first episode, while normativity is central to the second. Upon inspection, each episode also reveals a variety of commitments to the metaphysics of race. We conclude by interrogating (...)
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  18. Jonathan Kaplan & Massimo Pigliucci (2003). On the Concept of Biological Race and its Applicability to Humans. Philosophy of Science 69 (3):S294-S304.
    Biological research on race has often been seen as motivated by or lending credence to underlying racist attitudes; in part for this reason, recently philosophers and biologists have gone through great pains to essentially deny the existence of biological human races. We argue that human races, in the biological sense of local populations adapted to particular environments, do in fact exist; such races are best understood through the common ecological concept of ecotypes. However, human ecotypic races do not in general (...)
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  19. Harold Kincaid & Jennifer McKitrick (eds.) (2007). Establishing Medical Reality: Methodological and Metaphysical Issues in Philosophy of Medicine. Springer Publishing Company.
  20. Philip Kitch (2007). Does 'Race' Have a Future? Philosophy and Public Affairs 35 (4):293 - 317.
  21. David Ludwig (forthcoming). Against the New Metaphysics of Race. Philosophy of Science.
    The aim of this article is to develop an argument against metaphysical debates about the existence of human races. I argue that the ontology of race is underdetermined by both empirical and non-empirical evidence due to a plurality of equally permissible candidate meanings of "race." Furthermore, I argue that this underdetermination leads to a deflationist diagnosis according to #hich disputes about the existence of human races are non-substantive verbal disputes. $hile this diagnosis resembles general deflationist strategies in contemporary metaphysics" I (...)
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  22. Roberta L. Millstein (forthcoming). Thinking About Populations and Races in Time. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences.
    Biologists and philosophers have offered differing concepts of biological race. That is, they have offered different candidates for what a biological correlate of race might be; for example, races might be subspecies, clades, lineages, ecotypes, or genetic clusters. One thing that is striking about each of these proposals is that they all depend on a concept of population. Indeed, some authors have explicitly characterized races in terms of populations. However, including the concept of population into concepts of race raises three (...)
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  23. Roberta L. Millstein (2012). Darwin's Explanation of Races by Means of Sexual Selection. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 43 (3):627-633.
    In Darwin’s Sacred Cause, Adrian Desmond and James Moore contend that ‘‘Darwin would put his utmost into sexual selection because the subject intrigued him, no doubt, but also for a deeper reason: the theory vindicated his lifelong commitment to human brotherhood’’ (2009: p. 360). Without questioning Des- mond and Moore’s evidence, I will raise some puzzles for their view. I will show that attention to the structure of Darwin’s arguments in the Descent of Man shows that they are far from (...)
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  24. Stephen G. Morris (2011). Preserving the Concept of Race: A Medical Expedient, a Sociological Necessity. Philosophy of Science 78 (5):1260-1271.
  25. Bence Nanay (2010). Three Ways of Resisting Racism. The Monist 93 (2):255-280.
    Two widespread strategies of resisting racism are the following. The first one is to deny the existence of races and thus block even the possibility of racist claims. The second one is to grant that races exist but insist that racial differences do not imply value differences. The aim of this paper is to outline a strategy of resisting racism that is weaker than the first but stronger than the second strategy: even if we accept that races exist, we can (...)
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  26. Jeremy Pierce (2009). Mutants and the Metaphysics of Race. In Rebecca Housel J. Jeremy Wisnewski (ed.), X-Men and Philosophy: Astonishing Insight and Uncanny Argument in the Mutant X-Verse. Wiley/Blackwell.
  27. Mark Risjord (2007). Race and Scientific Reduction. In Harold Kincaid & Jennifer McKitrick (eds.), Establishing medical reality: Methodological and metaphysical issues in philosophy of medicine. Springer Publishing Company.
  28. David Livingstone Smith (2011). Less Than Human: Why We Demean, Enslave, and Exterminate Others. St. Martins Press.
  29. Quayshawn Spencer (2014). A Radical Solution to the Race Problem. Philosophy of Science 81 (5):1025-1038.
    It has become customary among philosophers and biologists to claim that folk racial classification has no biological basis. This paper attempts to debunk that view. In this paper, I show that ‘race’, as used in current U.S. race talk, picks out a biologically real entity. I do this by, first, showing that ‘race’, in this use, is not a kind term, but a proper name for a set of human population groups. Next, using recent human genetic clustering results, I show (...)
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Race as Socially Constructed
  1. Linda Martn Alcoff (2006). Visible Identities: Race, Gender, and the Self. Oup Usa.
    Visible Identities critiques the critiques of identity and of identity politics and argues that identities are real but not necessarily a political problem. Moreover, the book explores the material infrastructure of gendered identity, the experimental aspects of racial subjectivity for both whites and non-whites, and in several chapters looks specifically at Latio identity.
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  2. Robin O. Andreasen (2004). The Cladistic Race Concept: A Defense. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 19 (3):425-442.
    Many contemporary race scholars reject the biological reality of race.Elsewhere I have argued that they have been too quick to do so. Part ofthe reason is that they have overlooked the possibility that races canbe defined cladistically. Since the publication of the cladistic raceconcept, a number of questions and objections have been raised. My aimin this paper is to address these objections.
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  3. Robin O. Andreasen (2000). Race: Biological Reality or Social Construct? Philosophy of Science 67 (3):666.
    Race was once thought to be a real biological kind. Today the dominant view is that objective biological races don't exist. I challenge the trend to reject the biological reality of race by arguing that cladism (a school of classification that individuates taxa by appeal to common ancestry) provides a new way to define race biologically. I also reconcile the proposed biological conception with constructivist theories about race. Most constructivists assume that biological realism and social constructivism are incompatible views about (...)
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  4. Robert Bernasconi (2012). Crossed Lines in the Racialization Process: Race as a Border Concept. Research in Phenomenology 42 (2):206-228.
    Abstract The phenomenological approach to racialization needs to be supplemented by a hermeneutics that examines the history of the various categories in terms of which people see and have seen race. An investigation of this kind suggests that instead of the rigid essentialism that is normally associated with the history of racism, race predominantly operates as a border concept, that is to say, a dynamic fluid concept whose core lies not at the center but at its edges. I illustrate this (...)
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  5. Stefan Bird-Pollan (2013). Fanon. Critical Horizons 13 (3):377 - 399.
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  6. Lawrence Blum (2010). Racialized Groups. The Monist 93 (2):298-320.
    In the past decade, debates about the status and character of ‘race’ within philosophy have been dominated by philosophers of language, of biology, and of science, and metaphysicians. I here propose a viewpoint on the race debate arising from within social philosophy and the sociohistorical study of race.
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  7. Tommy J. Curry (2010). Concerning the Underspecialization of Race Theory in American Philosophy: How the Exclusion of Black Sources Affects the Field. The Pluralist 5 (1):44-64.
    Despite the recent rise in articles by American philosophers willing to deal with race, the sophistication of American philosophy's conceptualizations of American racism continues to lag behind other liberal arts fields committed to similar endeavors. Whereas other fields like American studies, history, sociology, and Black studies have found the foundational works of Black scholars essential to "truly" understanding the complexities of racism, American philosophy-driven by the refusal of white philosophers to acknowledge and incorporate the foundational works of Black scholars at (...)
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  8. Esa Diaz-Leon, Social Kinds and Conceptual Change: A Reply to Haslanger.
    Sally Haslanger (2006) is concerned with the debate between so-called social constructionists and error theorists about a given category, such as race or gender. For example, social constructionists about race claim that race is socially constructed, that is, the kind or property that unifies all instances of the category is a social feature (not a natural or physical feature, as naturalists about race would hold). On the other hand, error theorists about race claim that the term ‘race’ is an empty (...)
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  9. E. Diaz‐Leon (2013). What Is Social Construction? European Journal of Philosophy 22 (4):n/a-n/a.
    In this paper I discuss the question of what it means to say that a property is socially constructed. I focus on an influential project that many social constructivists are engaged in, namely, arguing against the inevitability of a trait, and I examine several recent characterizations of social construction, with the aim of assessing which one is more suited to the task.
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  10. Joshua Glasgow (2011). Another Look at the Reality of Race, by Which I Mean Race-F. In Allan Hazlett (ed.), New Waves in Metaphysics.
    Recently the idea that race is biologically real has gained more traction. One argument against this claim is that the populations identified by science do not sufficiently map onto the concept of race as deployed in the relevant racial discourse, namely folk racial discourse. Call that concept the concept of race-f. Robin Andreasen (2005) argues that this "mismatch" criticism fails, on a variety of grounds including: ordinary folk semantically defer to scientists; scientists can disagree about facts; historians disagree about the (...)
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  11. Joshua Glasgow (2009). In Defense of a Four-Part Theory: Replies to Hardimon, Haslanger, Mallon, and Zack. Symposia on Gender, Race, and Philosophy 5 (2):1-18.
  12. Robert Gooding-Williams (2004). Politics, Racial Solidarity,. Journal of Speculative Philosophy 18 (2).
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  13. Lewis Gordon (2011). Falguni A. Sheth: Toward a Political Philosophy of Race. [REVIEW] Continental Philosophy Review 44 (1):119-130.
  14. David Miguel Gray (2013). Racial Norms: A Reinterpretation of Du Bois' “The Conservation of Races”. Southern Journal of Philosophy 51 (4):465-487.
    I argue that standard explanations of Du Bois' theory of race inappropriately characterize his view as attempting to provide descriptive criteria for races. Such an interpretation makes it both susceptible to Appiah's circularity objection and alienates it from Du Bois' central project of solidarity—which is the central point of “Conservation.” I propose that we should understand his theory as providing a normative account of race: an attempt to characterize what some races should be in terms of what other races are. (...)
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  15. Michael O. Hardimon (2013). The Concept of Socialrace. Philosophy and Social Criticism (1):0191453713498252.
    Explication of the concept of socialrace: the concept variously refers to (1) a social group that is taken to be a racialist race, (2) the social position occupied by a particular social group that is a socialrace and (3) the system of social positions that are socialraces. Socialrace is distinguished from other more familiar forms of social construction. The sense in which socialrace counts as a race concept is explained. The advantages of the term ‘socialrace’ are discussed. The desiderata for (...)
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  16. Sally Haslanger, What Good Are Our Intuitions? Philosophical Analysis and Social Kinds.
    Across the humanities and social sciences it has become commonplace for scholars to argue that categories once assumed to be “natural” are in fact “social” or, in the familiar lingo, “socially constructed”. Two common examples of such categories are race and gender, but there many others. One interpretation of this claim is that although it is typically thought that what unifies the instances of such categories is some set of natural or physical properties, instead their unity rests on social features (...)
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  17. Sally Haslanger (2010). Language, Politics, and “The Folk”: Looking for “The Meaning” of ‘Race’. The Monist 93 (2):169-187.
    Contemporary discussions of race and racism devote considerable effort to giving conceptual analyses of these notions. Much of the work is concerned to investigate a priori what we mean by the terms ‘race’ and ‘racism’ (e.g., Garcia 1996; Garcia 1997; Garcia 1999: Blum 2002; Hardimon 2003; Mallon 2004); more recent work has started to employ empirical methods to determine the content of our “folk concepts,” or “folk theory” of race and racism (Glasgow 2009; Glasgow et al 2009; (...)
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  18. Sally Haslanger (2006). Sally Haslanger What Good Are Our Intuitions? Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 80 (1):89–118.
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  19. Sally Haslanger (2000). Gender and Race: (What) Are They? (What) Do We Want Them to Be? Noûs 34 (1):31–55.
    It is always awkward when someone asks me informally what I’m working on and I answer that I’m trying to figure out what gender is. For outside a rather narrow segment of the academic world, the term ‘gender’ has come to function as the polite way to talk about the sexes. And one thing people feel pretty confident about is their knowledge of the difference between males and females. Males are those human beings with a range of familiar primary and (...)
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