Race: A social destruction of a biological concept [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Biology and Philosophy 25 (2):143-162 (2010)
It is nowadays a dominant opinion in a number of disciplines (anthropology, genetics, psychology, philosophy of science) that the taxonomy of human races does not make much biological sense. My aim is to challenge the arguments that are usually thought to invalidate the biological concept of race. I will try to show that the way “race” was defined by biologists several decades ago (by Dobzhansky and others) is in no way discredited by conceptual criticisms that are now fashionable and widely regarded as cogent. These criticisms often arbitrarily burden the biological category of race with some implausible connotations, which then opens the path for a quick eliminative move. However, when properly understood, the biological notion of race proves remarkably resistant to these deconstructive attempts. Moreover, by analyzing statements of some leading contemporary scholars who support social constructivism about race, I hope to demonstrate that their eliminativist views are actually in conflict with what the best contemporary science tells us about human genetic variation.
|Keywords||Race Social constructivism Genetics Geographical ancestry Human variation Philosophy of science|
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References found in this work BETA
Joshua Glasgow (2009). A Theory of Race. Routledge.
Philip Kitcher (2007). Does 'Race' Have a Future? Philosophy and Public Affairs 35 (4):293–317.
David B. Wilkins, Kwame Anthony Appiah & Amy Gutmann (1998). Color Conscious: The Political Morality of Race. Princeton University Press.
Philip Kitcher (2003). In Mendel's Mirror: Philosophical Reflections on Biology. Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Matthew Kopec (2014). Clines, Clusters, and Clades in the Race Debate. Philosophy of Science 81 (5):1053-1065.
Massimo Pigliucci (2013). What Are We to Make of the Concept of Race? Thoughts of a Philosopher–Scientist. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (3):272-277.
Michael D. Edge & Noah A. Rosenberg (2015). Implications of the Apportionment of Human Genetic Diversity for the Apportionment of Human Phenotypic Diversity. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 52:32-45.
David Ludwig (2015). Against the New Metaphysics of Race. Philosophy of Science 82 (2):244-265.
Quayshawn Spencer (2013). Biological Theory and the Metaphysics of Race: A Reply to Kaplan and Winther. [REVIEW] Biological Theory 8 (1):114-120.
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