Journal of Social Philosophy 44 (2):146-168 (2013)

Jeremy Pierce
Le Moyne College
Joshua Glasgow argues against the existence of races. His experimental philosophy asks subjects questions involving racial categorization to discover the ordinary concept of race at work in their judgments. The results show conflicting information about the concept of race, and Glasgow concludes that the ordinary concept of race is inconsistent. I conclude, rather, that Glasgow’s results fit perfectly fine with a social-kind view of races as real social entities. He also presents thought experiments to show that social-kind views give the wrong results, but intuitions might differ on which results are the wrong ones, and social-kind views can resist the implications he derives from these cases. Widespread false beliefs about a concept or category need not undermine anything’s existence, and a sufficiently context-sensitive approach to races will allow for competing criteria for race-membership in different contexts without contradictory criteria in any one context. Glasgow’s arguments are therefore unsuccessful.
Keywords race  experimental philosophy  thought experiments  anti-realism  Glasgow  social construction  natural kind  social kind
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DOI 10.1111/josp.12020
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References found in this work BETA

The Ordinary Concept of Race.Michael O. Hardimon - 2003 - Journal of Philosophy 100 (9):437-455.
Race as a Human Kind.Ronald R. Sundstrom - 2002 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 28 (1):91-115.

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