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Quayshawn Spencer
University of Pennsylvania
  1. A Radical Solution to the Race Problem.Quayshawn Spencer - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (5):1025-1038.
    It has become customary among philosophers and biologists to claim that folk racial classification has no biological basis. This paper attempts to debunk that view. In this paper, I show that ‘race’, as used in current U.S. race talk, picks out a biologically real entity. I do this by, first, showing that ‘race’, in this use, is not a kind term, but a proper name for a set of human population groups. Next, using recent human genetic clustering results, I show (...)
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  2. Racial Realism I: Are Biological Races Real?Quayshawn Spencer - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (1):e12467.
    In this article, I discuss and critique how metaphysicians of race have conceived of and defended racial realism according to how biologists use “race”. I start by defining “racial realism” in the broadest accepted way in the metaphysics of race. Next, I summarize a representative sample of recent attempts from metaphysicians of race and biologists to defend racial realism and the main criticisms against each attempt. I discuss how metaphysicians of race have defended racial realism according to how ordinary people (...)
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  3. 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.
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  4.  91
    What is the State of Blacks in Philosophy?Tina F. Botts, Liam K. Bright, Guntur Mallarangeng, Quayshawn Spencer & Myisha Cherry - 2014 - Critical Philosophy of Race 2 (2):224-242.
    This research note is meant to introduce into philosophical discussion the preliminary results of an empirical study on the state of blacks in philosophy, which is a joint effort of the American Philosophical Association’s Committee on the Status of Black Philosophers (APA CSBP) and the Society of Young Black Philosophers (SYBP). The study is intended to settle factual issues in furtherance of contributing to dialogues surrounding at least two philosophical questions: What, if anything, is the philosophical value of demographic diversity (...)
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  5.  80
    A Racial Classification for Medical Genetics.Quayshawn Spencer - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (5):1013-1037.
    In the early 2000s, Esteban Burchard and his colleagues defended a controversial route to the view that there’s a racial classification of people that’s useful in medicine. The route, which I call ‘Burchard’s route,’ is arguing that there’s a racial classification of people that’s useful in medicine because, roughly, there’s a racial classification with medically relevant genetic differentiation :1170–1175, 2003). While almost all scholars engaged in this debate agree that there’s a racial classification of people that’s useful in medicine in (...)
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  6. Racial Realism II: Are Folk Races Real?Quayshawn Spencer - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (1):e12467.
    This article is Part II in a pair of articles on racial realism. In Part I, I defined “racial realism” and discussed the major attempts in the past twenty years among metaphysicians of race and biologists to defend racial realism from the viewpoint of what biologists mean by “race.” In this article, I continue discussing and critiquing how metaphysicians of race have conceived of and defended racial realism, but with a focus on how ordinary people use “race.” I focus on (...)
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  7. What 'Biological Racial Realism' Should Mean.Quayshawn Spencer - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 159 (2):181-204.
    A curious ambiguity has arisen in the race debate in recent years. That ambiguity is what is actually meant by ‘biological racial realism’. Some philosophers mean that ‘race is a natural kind in biology’, while others mean that ‘race is a real biological kind’. However, there is no agreement about what a natural kind or a real biological kind should be in the race debate. In this article, I will argue that the best interpretation of ‘biological racial realism’ is one (...)
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  8.  87
    Biological Theory and the Metaphysics of Race: A Reply to Kaplan and Winther. [REVIEW]Quayshawn Spencer - 2013 - Biological Theory 8 (1):114-120.
    In Kaplan and Winther’s recent article they argue for three bold theses: first, that “it is illegitimate to read any ontology about ‘ race ’ off of biological theory or data”; second, that “using biological theory to ground race is a pernicious reification”; and, third, that “ race is fundamentally a social rather than a biological category.” While Kaplan and Winther’s theses are thoughtful, I show that the arguments that their theses rest on are unconvincing. In order to be constructive, (...)
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  9.  42
    The Unnatural Racial Naturalism.Quayshawn Spencer - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 46 (1):38-43.
    In the recent article, “Against the New Racial Naturalism”, Adam Hochman argues that new racial naturalists have been too hasty in their racial interpretation of genetic clustering results of human populations. While Hochman makes a number of good points, the purpose of this paper is to show that Hochman’s attack on new racial naturalists is misguided due to his definition of ‘racial naturalism’. Thus, I will show that Hochman’s critique is merely a consequence of an unnatural interpretation of racial naturalism.
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  10.  24
    Do Humans Have Continental Populations?Quayshawn Spencer - 2016 - Philosophy of Science 83 (5):791-802.
    In this article I show that population geneticists are acknowledging a kind of biological population that has hitherto been unappreciated by philosophers. The new population talk occurs when population geneticists call continent-level human genetic clusters ‘populations’ in population structure research. My theory is that the kind of population being referred to is the K population, which is, roughly, a biological population whose members are united by common genomic ancestry and in which population membership is graded. After presenting and defending the (...)
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  11. I—A More Radical Solution to the Race Problem.Quayshawn Spencer - 2019 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 93 (1):25-48.
    One debate that metaphysicians of race have been consumed with since the 1990s is what we can call the US race debate, which is the debate about what the nature and reality of race is according to the dominant ways that ‘race’ and race terms are used to classify people in contemporary American English. In 2014, I contributed a defence of biological racial realism in the US race debate that utilized new results about human genetic clustering from population genetics. In (...)
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  12. What is Race?: Four Philosophical Views.Joshua Glasgow, Sally Haslanger, Chike Jeffers & Quayshawn Spencer - 2019 - Oup Usa.
    In this debate-format book, four philosophers--Joshua Glasgow, Sally Haslanger, Chike Jeffers, and Quayshawn Spencer--articulate contrasting views on race. Each author presents a distinct viewpoint on what race is, and then replies to the others, offering theories that are clear and accessible to undergraduates, lay readers, and non-specialists, as well as other philosophers of race.
     
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  13. Do Newton’s Rules of Reasoning Guarantee Truth … Must They?Quayshawn Spencer - 2004 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 35 (4):759-782.
    Newton’s Principia introduces four rules of reasoning for natural philosophy. Although useful, there is a concern about whether Newton’s rules guarantee truth. After redirecting the discussion from truth to validity, I show that these rules are valid insofar as they fulfill Goodman’s criteria for inductive rules and Newton’s own methodological program of experimental philosophy; provided that cross-checks are used prior to applications of rule 4 and immediately after applications of rule 2 the following activities are pursued: (1) research addressing observations (...)
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  14.  39
    Introduction to “Is There Space for Race in Evolutionary Biology?”.Quayshawn Spencer - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (3):247-249.
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    In Defense of the Actual Metaphysics of Race.Quayshawn Spencer - unknown
    In a recent paper, David Ludwig argues that “the new metaphysics of race” is “based on a confusion of metaphysical and normative classificatory issues.” Ludwig defends his thesis by arguing that the new metaphysics of race is non-substantive according to three notions of non-substantive metaphysics from contemporary metametaphysics. However, I show that Ludwig’s argument is an irrelevant critique of actual metaphysics of race. One interesting result is that actual metaphysics of race is more akin to the metaphysics done in philosophy (...)
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