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A Radical Solution to the Race Problem

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2022

Abstract

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 US 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 that this set of human population groups is a partition of human populations that I call ‘the Blumenbach partition’.

Type
Medical and Social Sciences
Information
Philosophy of Science , Volume 81 , Issue 5 , December 2014 , pp. 1025 - 1038
Copyright
Copyright © The Philosophy of Science Association

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Footnotes

I would like to thank the following people for helpful comments on earlier drafts of this paper: Brian Donovan, Michael Ghiselin, Joshua Glasgow, Michael Hardimon, David Hills, Adam Hochman, Christopher Hom, Michael Hunter, Chike Jeffers, Helen Longino, Koffi Maglo, Roberta Millstein, Noah Rosenberg, Kenneth Taylor, Clinton Tolley, Neil van Leeuwen, Manuel Vargas, and Ward Watt. This research was funded by a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship and supplementary funding from the University of San Francisco. This research was completed while the author was a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University.

References

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