Passing, traveling and reality: Social constructionism and the metaphysics of race

Noûs 38 (4):644–673 (2004)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Among race theorists, the view that race is a social construction is widespread. While the term ‘ social construction’ is sometimes intended to mean merely that race does not constitute a robust, biological natural kind, it often labels the stronger position that race is real, but not a biological kind. For example, Charles Mills writes that, ‘‘the task of those working on race is to put race in quotes, ‘race’, while still insisting that nevertheless, it exists ’’. It is to ‘‘make a plausible social ontology neither essentialist, innate, nor transhistorical, but real enough for all that’’. Racial constructionism, thus conceived, is a metaphysical position that contrasts both with the view that race is an important biological kind and with the more recent claim that race does not exist. The desire for a constructionist metaphysics of race emerges against the background of a cluster of normative disputes, including

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 94,659

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
668 (#27,794)

6 months
34 (#119,615)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Ron Mallon
Washington University in St. Louis

Citations of this work

What good are our intuitions: Philosophical analysis and social kinds.Sally Haslanger - 2006 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 80 (1):89-118.
Real Talk on the Metaphysics of Gender.Robin Dembroff - 2018 - Philosophical Topics 46 (2):21-50.
Social Structures and the Ontology of Social Groups.Katherine Ritchie - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (2):402-424.
'Yep, I'm Gay': Understanding Agential Identity.Robin Dembroff & Cat Saint-Croix - 2019 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 6:571-599.

View all 45 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

The social construction of what?Ian Hacking - 1999 - Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.
Concepts: Where Cognitive Science Went Wrong.Jerry A. Fodor - 1998 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.

View all 46 references / Add more references