Metaphilosophy 52 (5):593-615 (2021)

Anthony F. Peressini
Marquette University
This paper critiques philosophical efforts to biologize race as racial projects (Omi and Winant, Racial Formation in the United States). The paper argues that the deeply social phenomenon of race defies the analytic schema employed by biologizing philosophers. The very (social) act of theorizing race is already in an involuted relationship with its target concept: analyzing race must be seen as a racial project, in that it simultaneously helps to manage how race is represented in society and helps organize society’s resources along particular racial lines. Such biologizing projects are rife with moral and political dimensions and have a depoliticizing effect that has the potential to camouflage, defuse, or explain away the social-structural reproduction of white power/privilege. The paper begins by considering two recent philosophic-scientific biologizations of race, showing how they conform to the analytic schema, reviewing received critical points, and offering several novel ones.
Keywords biological race  metaphilosophy  philosophical methodology  population genetics  race  racial projects  racism  scientific ontology  social race  structural racism
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Reprint years 2021
DOI 10.1111/meta.12511
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[Book Review] the Racial Contract. [REVIEW]Charles W. Mills - 1999 - Social Theory and Practice 25 (1):155-160.
White Ignorance.Charles Mills - 2007 - In Shannon Sullivan & Nancy Tuana (eds.), Race and Epistemologies of Ignorance. Albany, NY: State Univ of New York Pr. pp. 11-38.

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