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Philosophy of Science that Ignores Science: Race, IQ and Heritability

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 April 2022

Neven Sesardic*
Department of Philosophy, Lingnan University, Hong Kong
Send requests for reprints to the author, Department of Philosophy, Lingnan University, Tuen Mun, Hong Kong. Email:


Philosophers of science widely believe that the hereditarian theory about racial differences in IQ is based on methodological mistakes and confusions involving the concept of heritability. I argue that this “received view” is wrong: methodological criticisms popular among philosophers are seriously misconceived, and the discussion in philosophy of science about these matters is largely disconnected from the real, empirically complex issues debated in science.

Research Article
Copyright © 2000 by the Philosophy of Science Association

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I would like to thank Rik Hine, Arthur Jensen, Hong-Hwa Lee, Gianmatteo Mameli, David Papineau, Alexander Rosenberg, Mark Sainsbury, Dusko Sekulic, Elliott Sober, Kim Sterelny and two anonymous referees for Philosophy of Science for helpful feedback on earlier drafts. Needless to say, none of them should be assumed to agree with the main claims of this paper. I am also grateful to Jim Brown, Philip Kitcher, Robert Richardson and Sahotra Sarkar for comments on my criticisms of their views.


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