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  1. Race and Medicine in Light of the New Mechanistic Philosophy of Science.Kalewold Hailu Kalewold - 2020 - Biology and Philosophy 35 (4):1-22.
    Racial disparities in health outcomes have recently become a flashpoint in the debate about the value of race as a biological concept. What role, if any, race has in the etiology of disease is a philosophically and scientifically contested topic. In this article, I expand on the insights of the new mechanistic philosophy of science to defend a mechanism discovery approach to investigating epidemiological racial disparities. The mechanism discovery approach has explanatory virtues lacking in the populational approach typically employed in (...)
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  • Realism, Antirealism, and Conventionalism About Race.Jonathan Michael Kaplan & Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (5):1039-1052.
    This paper distinguishes three concepts of "race": bio-genomic cluster/race, biological race, and social race. We map out realism, antirealism, and conventionalism about each of these, in three important historical episodes: Frank Livingstone and Theodosius Dobzhansky in 1962, A.W.F. Edwards' 2003 response to Lewontin (1972), and contemporary discourse. Semantics is especially crucial to the first episode, while normativity is central to the second. Upon inspection, each episode also reveals a variety of commitments to the metaphysics of race. We conclude by interrogating (...)
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  • Medicine, Anti-Realism and Ideology: Variation in Medical Genetics Does Not Show That Race is Biologically Real.Phila Mfundo Msimang - 2020 - SATS 20 (2):117-140.
    Lee McIntyre’s Respecting Truth chronicles the contemporary challenges regarding the relationship amongst evidence, belief formation and ideology. The discussion in his book focusses on the ‘politicisation of knowledge’ and the purportedly growing public tendency to choose to believe what is determined by prior ideological commitments rather than what is determined by evidence-based reasoning. In considering these issues, McIntyre posits that the claim “race is a myth” is founded on a political ideology rather than on support from scientific evidence. He contrasts (...)
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  • Strategic Conceptual Engineering for Epistemic and Social Aims.Ingo Brigandt & Esther Rosario - 2020 - In Alexis Burgess, Herman Cappelen & David Plunkett (eds.), Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 100-124.
    Examining previous discussions on how to construe the concepts of gender and race, we advocate what we call strategic conceptual engineering. This is the employment of a (possibly novel) concept for specific epistemic or social aims, concomitant with the openness to use a different concept (e.g., of race) for other purposes. We illustrate this approach by sketching three distinct concepts of gender and arguing that all of them are needed, as they answer to different social aims. The first concept serves (...)
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  • Social Ontology.Brian Epstein - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Social ontology is the study of the nature and properties of the social world. It is concerned with analyzing the various entities in the world that arise from social interaction. -/- A prominent topic in social ontology is the analysis of social groups. Do social groups exist at all? If so, what sorts of entities are they, and how are they created? Is a social group distinct from the collection of people who are its members, and if so, how is (...)
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  • Hysteria, Race, Phlogiston. A Model of Ontological Elimination in the Human Sciences.David Ludwig - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences (1):68-77.
    Elimination controversies are ubiquitous in philosophy and the human sciences. For example, it has been suggested that human races, hysteria, intelligence, mental disorder, propositional attitudes such as beliefs and desires, the self, and the super-ego should be eliminated from the list of respectable entities in the human sciences. I argue that eliminativist proposals are often presented in the framework of an oversimplified “phlogiston model” and suggest an alternative account that describes ontological elimination on a gradual scale between criticism of empirical (...)
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  • Race: Deflate or Pop?Adam Hochman - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 57.
    Neven Sesardic has recently defended his arguments in favour of racial naturalism—the view that race is a valid biological category—in response to my criticism of his work. While Sesardic claims that a strong version of racial naturalism can survive critique, he has in fact weakened his position considerably. He concedes that conventional racial taxonomy is arbitrary and he no longer identifies ‘races’ as human subspecies. Sesardic now relies almost entirely on Theodosius Dobzhansky’s notion of race-as-population. This weak approach to ‘race’—according (...)
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  • Race, Racism, and Social Policy.Albert Atkin - 2018 - In Andrei Poama & Annabelle Lever (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Ethics and Public Policy. New York, NY, USA: pp. 281-291.
    Policy-making must always pay attention to race. That is the central claim of this chapter. Regardless of whether some particular policy debate is ostensibly “racial”, policy-makers must attend to questions of race, because race is a ubiquitous, but frequently unnoticed, feature of our world. I examine the type of philosophical question about race that I think philosophers and policy-makers would do well to examine and consider how the question “What is race?” is pertinent to policy debate. Examples will be drawn (...)
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  • Putting Races on the Ontological Map: A Close Look at Spencer’s ‘New Biologism’ of Race.Eric Winsberg - unknown
    In a large and impressive body of published work, Quayshawn Spencer has meticulously articulated and defended a metaphysical project aimed at resuscitating a biological conception of race—one free from many of the pitfalls of biological essentialism. If successful, such a project would be highly rewarding, since it would provide a compelling response to philosophers who have denied the genuine existence of race while avoiding the very dangers that they sought to avoid. I argue that if a “new biologism” about race (...)
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  • Hysteria, Race, and Phlogiston. A Model of Ontological Elimination in the Human Sciences.David Ludwig - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 45 (1):68-77.
    Elimination controversies are ubiquitous in philosophy and the human sciences. For example, it has been suggested that human races, hysteria, intelligence, mental disorder, propositional attitudes such as beliefs and desires, the self, and the super-ego should be eliminated from the list of respectable entities in the human sciences. I argue that eliminativist proposals are often presented in the framework of an oversimplified “phlogiston model” and suggest an alternative account that describes ontological elimination on a gradual scale between criticism of empirical (...)
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  • Ontological Choices and the Value-Free Ideal.David Ludwig - 2015 - Erkenntnis (6):1-20.
    The aim of this article is to argue that ontological choices in scientific practice undermine common formulations of the value-free ideal in science. First, I argue that the truth values of scientific statements depend on ontological choices. For example, statements about entities such as species, race, memory, intelligence, depression, or obesity are true or false relative to the choice of a biological, psychological, or medical ontology. Second, I show that ontological choices often depend on non-epistemic values. On the basis of (...)
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  • Replacing Race: Interactive Constructionism About Racialized Groups.Adam Hochman - 2017 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 4:61-92.
    In this paper I defend anti-realism about race and a new theory of racialization. I argue that there are no races, only racialized groups. Many social constructionists about race have adopted racial formation theory to explain how ‘races’ are formed. However, anti-realists about race cannot adopt racial formation theory, because it assumes the reality of race. I introduce interactive constructionism about racialized groups as a theory of racialization for anti-realists about race. Interactive constructionism moves the discussion away from the dichotomous (...)
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  • Against the New Metaphysics of Race.David Ludwig - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (2):244-265.
    The aim of this article is to develop an argument against metaphysical debates about the existence of human races. I argue that the ontology of race is underdetermined by both empirical and non-empirical evidence due to a plurality of equally permissible candidate meanings of "race." Furthermore, I argue that this underdetermination leads to a deflationist diagnosis according to #hich disputes about the existence of human races are non-substantive verbal disputes. $hile this diagnosis resembles general deflationist strategies in contemporary metaphysics" I (...)
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  • Race and Biology.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - forthcoming - In Linda Alcoff, Luvell Anderson & Paul Taylor (eds.), The Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Race. Routledge.
    The ontology of race is replete with moral, political, and scientific implications. This book chapter surveys proposals about the reality of race, distinguishing among three levels of analysis: biogenomic, biological, and social. The relatively homogeneous structure of human genetic variation casts doubt upon the practice of postulating distinct biogenomic races that might be mapped onto socially recognized race categories.
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  • In Defense of the Metaphysics of Race.Adam Hochman - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (11):2709–2729.
    In this paper I defend the metaphysics of race as a valuable philosophical project against deflationism about race. The deflationists argue that metaphysical debate about the reality of race amounts to a non-substantive verbal dispute that diverts attention from ethical and practical issues to do with ‘race.’ In response, I show that the deflationists mischaracterize the field and fail to capture what most metaphysicians of race actually do in their work, which is almost always pluralist and very often normative and (...)
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  • 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.
    Quayshawn Spencer (2014) misunderstands my treatment of racial naturalism. I argued that racial naturalism must entail a strong claim, such as “races are subspecies”, if it is to be a substantive position that contrasts with anti-realism about biological race. My recognition that not all race naturalists make such a strong claim is evident throughout the article Spencer reviews (Hochman, 2013a). Spencer seems to agree with me that there are no human subspecies, and he endorses a weaker form of racial naturalism. (...)
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  • 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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  • The Essence of Race: Kant and Late Enlightenment Reflections.Phillip R. Sloan - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 47:191-195.
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  • Race and Reference.Adam Hochman - 2019 - Biology and Philosophy 34 (2):32.
    The biological race debate is at an impasse. Issues surrounding hereditarianism aside, there is little empirical disagreement left between race naturalists and anti-realists about biological race. The disagreement is now primarily semantic. This would seem to uniquely qualify philosophers to contribute to the biological race debate. However, philosophers of race are reluctant to focus on semantics, largely because of their worries about the ‘flight to reference’. In this paper, I show how philosophers can contribute to the debate without taking the (...)
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  • Racial Realism II: Are Folk Races Real?Quayshawn Spencer - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (1).
    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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  • Racial Discrimination: How Not to Do It.Adam Hochman - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences (3):278-286.
    The UNESCO Statements on Race of the early 1950s are understood to have marked a consensus amongst natural scientists and social scientists that ‘race’ is a social construct. Human biological diversity was shown to be predominantly clinal, or gradual, not discreet, and clustered, as racial naturalism implied. From the seventies social constructionists added that the vast majority of human genetic diversity resides within any given racialised group. While social constructionism about race became the majority consensus view on the topic, social (...)
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  • Of Vikings and Nazis: Norwegian Contributions to the Rise and the Fall of the Idea of a Superior Aryan Race.Adam Hochman - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 54:84-88.
    Nazi ideology was premised on a belief in the superiority of the Germanic race. However, the idea of a superior Germanic race was not invented by the Nazis. By the beginning of the 20th century this idea had already gained not only popular but also mainstream scientific support in England, Germany, the U.S., Scandinavia, and other parts of the world in which people claimed Germanic origins (p. xiii). Yet how could this idea, which is now recognised as ideology of the (...)
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  • Critical Philosophy of Race: Beyond the USA.Albert Atkin - 2017 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 34 (4):514-518.
    The study of race and racism is an area of growth in philosophy. The quantity of research published under the banner of ‘the philosophy of race’ is increasing; research monographs and edited collections are appearing in greater numbers, and there is even a noticeable though still lamentably small increase in the number of professional posi- tions being advertised in the philosophy of race. However, one notable feature of this research is how much it focuses upon the racial context of the (...)
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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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  • The Structure of Scientific Theories.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - 2015 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Scientific inquiry has led to immense explanatory and technological successes, partly as a result of the pervasiveness of scientific theories. Relativity theory, evolutionary theory, and plate tectonics were, and continue to be, wildly successful families of theories within physics, biology, and geology. Other powerful theory clusters inhabit comparatively recent disciplines such as cognitive science, climate science, molecular biology, microeconomics, and Geographic Information Science (GIS). Effective scientific theories magnify understanding, help supply legitimate explanations, and assist in formulating predictions. Moving from their (...)
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  • Implications of the Apportionment of Human Genetic Diversity for the Apportionment of Human Phenotypic Diversity.Michael D. Edge & Noah A. Rosenberg - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 52:32-45.
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  • 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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  • 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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  • Ontological Choices and the Value-Free Ideal.David Ludwig - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (6):1253-1272.
    The aim of this article is to argue that ontological choices in scientific practice undermine common formulations of the value-free ideal in science. First, I argue that the truth values of scientific statements depend on ontological choices. For example, statements about entities such as species, race, memory, intelligence, depression, or obesity are true or false relative to the choice of a biological, psychological, or medical ontology. Second, I show that ontological choices often depend on non-epistemic values. On the basis of (...)
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