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Profile: Quayshawn Spencer (University of San Francisco)
  1. Quayshawn Spencer (forthcoming). A Radical Solution to the Race Problem. Philosophy of Science.
    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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  2. Tina F. Botts, Liam K. Bright, Myisha Cherry, Guntur Mallarangeng & Quayshawn Spencer (2014). What is the State of Blacks in Philosophy? Critical Philosophy of Race 2 (2):224-242.
    This research note is meant to introduce into philosophical discussion the preliminary results of an empirical study on the state of blacks in philosophy, which is a joint effort of the American Philosophical Association’s Committee on the Status of Black Philosophers (APA CSBP) and the Society of Young Black Philosophers (SYBP). The study is intended to settle factual issues in furtherance of contributing to dialogues surrounding at least two philosophical questions: What, if anything, is the philosophical value of demographic diversity (...)
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  3. Quayshawn Spencer (2014). The Unnatural Racial Naturalism. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 46:38-43.
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  4. Quayshawn Spencer (2013). Biological Theory and the Metaphysics of Race: A Reply to Kaplan and Winther. [REVIEW] Biological Theory 8 (1):114-120.
    In Kaplan and Winther’s recent article (Biol Theory. doi:10.1007/s13752-012-0048-0, 2012) they argue for three bold theses: first, that “it is illegitimate to read any ontology about ‘race’ off of biological theory or data”; second, that “using biological theory to ground race is a pernicious reification”; and, third, that “race is fundamentally a social rather than a biological category.” While Kaplan and Winther’s theses are thoughtful, I show that the arguments that their theses rest on are unconvincing. In order to be (...)
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  5. Quayshawn Spencer (2013). Introduction to “Is There Space for Race in Evolutionary Biology?”. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (3):247-249.
  6. Quayshawn Spencer (2012). What 'Biological Racial Realism' Should Mean. Philosophical Studies 159 (2):181-204.
    A curious ambiguity has arisen in the race debate in recent years. That ambiguity is what is actually meant by ‘biological racial realism’. Some philosophers mean that ‘race is a natural kind in biology’, while others mean that ‘race is a real biological kind’. However, there is no agreement about what a natural kind or a real biological kind should be in the race debate. In this article, I will argue that the best interpretation of ‘biological racial realism’ is one (...)
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  7. Quayshawn Spencer (2004). Do Newton's Rules of Reasoning Guarantee Truth ... Must They? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 35 (4):759-782.
    Newton’s Principia introduces four rules of reasoning for natural philosophy. Although useful, there is a concern about whether Newton’s rules guarantee truth. After redirecting the discussion from truth to validity, I show that these rules are valid insofar as they fulfill Goodman’s criteria for inductive rules and Newton’s own methodological program of experimental philosophy; provided that cross-checks are used prior to applications of rule 4 and immediately after applications of rule 2 the following activities are pursued: (1) research addressing observations (...)
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