Race: A Social Destruction of a Biological Concept

Biology and Philosophy 25 (2):143-162 (2010)
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Abstract

It is nowadays a dominant opinion in a number of disciplines (anthropology, genetics, psychology, philosophy of science) that the taxonomy of human races does not make much biological sense. My aim is to challenge the arguments that are usually thought to invalidate the biological concept of race. I will try to show that the way “race” was defined by biologists several decades ago (by Dobzhansky and others) is in no way discredited by conceptual criticisms that are now fashionable and widely regarded as cogent. These criticisms often arbitrarily burden the biological category of race with some implausible connotations, which then opens the path for a quick eliminative move. However, when properly understood, the biological notion of race proves remarkably resistant to these deconstructive attempts. Moreover, by analyzing statements of some leading contemporary scholars who support social constructivism about race, I hope to demonstrate that their eliminativist views are actually in conflict with what the best contemporary science tells us about human genetic variation.

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Citations of this work

Racialization: A Defense of the Concept.Adam Hochman - 2019 - Ethnic and Racial Studies 42 (8):1245-1262.
Against the New Metaphysics of Race.David Ludwig - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (2):244-265.
Race, Eugenics, and the Holocaust.Jonathan Anomaly - 2022 - In Ira Bedzow & Stacy Gallin (eds.), Bioethics and the Holocaust. Springer. pp. 153-170.
Race and Reference.Adam Hochman - 2019 - Biology and Philosophy 34 (2):32.
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.

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