Realism, Antirealism, and Conventionalism about Race

Philosophy of Science 81 (5):1039-1052 (2014)
Authors
Rasmus Winther
University of California, Santa Cruz
Jonathan Kaplan
Oregon State University
Abstract
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 the relevance of these scientific discussions for political positions and a post-racial future.
Keywords Biological ontology  Values  Politics  Population genetics  Realism debates
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Reprint years 2014
DOI 10.1086/678314
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Gould on Morton, Redux: What Can the Debate Reveal About the Limits of Data?Jonathan Kaplan, Massimo Pigliucci & Joshua Banta - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 52:22-31.
The Mind, the Lab, and the Field: Three Kinds of Populations in Scientific Practice.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther, Ryan Giordano, Michael D. Edge & Rasmus Nielsen - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 52:12-21.
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.
Implications of the Apportionment of Human Genetic Diversity for the Apportionment of Human Phenotypic Diversity.Michael D. Edge & Noah A. Rosenberg - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 52:32-45.
Introduction: Genomics and Philosophy of Race.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther, Roberta L. Millstein & Rasmus Nielsen - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 52:1-4.

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