Against the New Racial Naturalism

Journal of Philosophy 110 (6):331–51 (2013)
Authors
Adam Hochman
Macquarie University
Abstract
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 individuals to their continents of origin, based on genetic data alone. Race naturalists have interpreted these studies as empirically confirming the existence of human subspecies, and by extension biological races. However, the new racial naturalism is not convincing. The continental clusters appealed to by race naturalists are arbitrary and superficial groupings, which should not be elevated to subspecies status. Moreover, the criteria applied to humans are not consistent with those used to define subspecies in nonhuman animals, and no rationale has been given for this differential treatment
Keywords Race  Philosophy of biology  Genetic clustering  Social constructionism  Clustering and Classification Methods  Ethnicity  Naturalism  Philosophy of science
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DOI 10.5840/jphil2013110625
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Citations of this work BETA

Of Vikings and Nazis: Norwegian Contributions to the Rise and the Fall of the Idea of a Superior Aryan Race.Adam Hochman - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 54:84-88.
Against the New Metaphysics of Race.David Ludwig - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (2):244-265.
Unnaturalised Racial Naturalism.Adam Hochman - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 46 (1):79-87.
Philosophy of Race Meets Population Genetics.Quayshawn Spencer - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 52:46-55.
In Defense of the Metaphysics of Race.Adam Hochman - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (11):2709–2729.

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