Racial discrimination: How not to do it

Authors
Adam Hochman
Macquarie University
Abstract
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 constructionism has always had its critics. Sesardic (2010) has compiled these criticisms into one of the strongest defences of racial naturalism in recent times. In this paper I argue that Sesardic equivocates between two versions of racial naturalism: a weak version and a strong version. As I shall argue, the strong version is not supported by the relevant science. The weak version, on the other hand, does not contrast properly with what social constructionists think about ‘race’. By leaning on this weak view Sesardic’s racial naturalism intermittently gains an appearance of plausibility, but this view is too weak to revive racial naturalism. As Sesardic demonstrates, there are new arguments for racial naturalism post-Human Genome Diversity Project. The positive message behind my critique is how to be a social constructionist about race in the post-genomic era.
Keywords Race  Social constructionism  Forensic anthropology  Genetic clustering  Racial naturalism  Sesardic  Population genetics  Heredity
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsc.2013.03.003
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References found in this work BETA

Against the New Racial Naturalism.Adam Hochman - 2013 - Journal of Philosophy 110 (6):331–51.
Race: A Social Destruction of a Biological Concept.Neven Sesardic - 2010 - Biology and Philosophy 25 (2):143-162.
Does 'Race' Have a Future?Philip Kitcher - 2007 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 35 (4):293–317.

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Citations of this work BETA

Do We Need a Device to Acquire Ethnic Concepts?Adam Hochman - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (5):994-1005.
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.
In Defense of the Metaphysics of Race.Adam Hochman - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (11):2709–2729.
Confusions About Race: A New Installment.Neven Sesardic - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (3):287-293.

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