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  1. The mind, the lab, and the field: Three kinds of populations in scientific practice.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther, Ryan Giordano, Michael D. Edge & Rasmus Nielsen - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 52:12-21.
    Scientists use models to understand the natural world, and it is important not to conflate model and nature. As an illustration, we distinguish three different kinds of populations in studies of ecology and evolution: theoretical, laboratory, and natural populations, exemplified by the work of R.A. Fisher, Thomas Park, and David Lack, respectively. Biologists are rightly concerned with all three types of populations. We examine the interplay between these different kinds of populations, and their pertinent models, in three examples: the notion (...)
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  • Prediction in selectionist evolutionary theory.Rasmus Gr⊘Nfeldt Winther - 2009 - Philosophy of Science 76 (5):889-901.
    Selectionist evolutionary theory has often been faulted for not making novel predictions that are surprising, risky, and correct. I argue that it in fact exhibits the theoretical virtue of predictive capacity in addition to two other virtues: explanatory unification and model fitting. Two case studies show the predictive capacity of selectionist evolutionary theory: parallel evolutionary change in E. coli, and the origin of eukaryotic cells through endosymbiosis.
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  • Introduction: Genomics and Philosophy of Race.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther, Roberta L. Millstein & Rasmus Nielsen - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 52:1-4.
    This year’s topic is “Genomics and Philosophy of Race.” Different researchers might work on distinct subsets of the six thematic clusters below, which are neither mutually exclusive nor collectively exhaustive: (1) Concepts of ‘Race’; (2) Mathematical Modeling of Human History and Population Structure; (3) Data and Technologies of Human Genomics; (4) Biological Reality of Race; (5) Racialized Selves in a Global Context; (6) Pragmatic Consequences of ‘Race Talk’ among Biologists.
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  • Are Clusters Races? A Discussion of the Rhetorical Appropriation of Rosenberg et al.’s “Genetic Structure of Human Populations”.Melissa Wills - 2017 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 9 (12).
    Noah Rosenberg et al.'s 2002 article “Genetic Structure of Human Populations” reported that multivariate genomic analysis of a large cell line panel yielded reproducible groupings (clusters) suggestive of individuals' geographical origins. The paper has been repeatedly cited as evidence that traditional notions of race have a biological basis, a claim its authors do not make. Critics of this misinterpretation have often suggested that it follows from interpreters' personal biases skewing the reception of an objective piece of scientific writing. I contend, (...)
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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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  • 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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  • 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 (Biol Theory. doi:10.1007/s13752-012-0048-0, 2012) 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 (...)
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  • Causal Social Construction.Riin Kõiv - 2019 - Journal of Social Ontology 5 (1):77-99.
    In the social constructionist literature, little has been said about what it means for social factors to cause X in such a way that X would count as causally socially constructed. In this paper, I argue that being caused by social factors – and thus being causally socially constructed – is best defined in terms of a contrastive counterfactual notion of causation. Unlike some plausible alternatives, this definition captures what is at stake in actual social constructionist debates. It makes transparent (...)
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  • ‘On the Different Ways of ‘‘Doing Theory’’ in Biology‘.Massimo Pigliucci - 2013 - Biological Theory 7 (4): 287-297.
    ‘‘Theoretical biology’’ is a surprisingly heter- ogeneous field, partly because it encompasses ‘‘doing the- ory’’ across disciplines as diverse as molecular biology, systematics, ecology, and evolutionary biology. Moreover, it is done in a stunning variety of different ways, using anything from formal analytical models to computer sim- ulations, from graphic representations to verbal arguments. In this essay I survey a number of aspects of what it means to do theoretical biology, and how they compare with the allegedly much more restricted (...)
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  • Against the philosophical project of “biologizing” race.Anthony F. Peressini - 2021 - Metaphilosophy 52 (5):593-615.
    This paper critiques philosophical efforts to biologize race as racial projects (Omi and Winant, Racial Formation in the United States). The paper argues that the deeply social phenomenon of race defies the analytic schema employed by biologizing philosophers. The very (social) act of theorizing race is already in an involuted relationship with its target concept: analyzing race must be seen as a racial project, in that it simultaneously helps to manage how race is represented in society and helps organize society’s (...)
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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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  • The quantification of intelligence in nineteenth-century craniology: an epistemology of measurement perspective.Michele Luchetti - 2022 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 12 (4):1-29.
    Craniology – the practice of inferring intelligence differences from the measurement of human skulls – survived the dismissal of phrenology and remained a widely popular research program until the end of the nineteenth century. From the 1970s, historians and sociologists of science extensively focused on the explicit and implicit socio-cultural biases invalidating the evidence and claims that craniology produced. Building on this literature, I reassess the history of craniological practice from a different but complementary perspective that relies on recent developments (...)
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  • A reconsideration of the role of self-identified races in epidemiology and biomedical research.Ludovica Lorusso & Fabio Bacchini - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 52 (C):56-64.
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  • Race, Genomics, and Philosophy of Science.Jonathan Michael Kaplan, Ludovica Lorusso & Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - 2014 - Critical Philosophy of Race 2 (2):160-223.
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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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  • Gould on Morton, Redux: What can the debate reveal about the limits of data?Jonathan Kaplan, Massimo Pigliucci & Joshua Banta - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 52:22-31.
    Lewis et al. (2011) attempted to restore the reputation of Samuel George Morton, a 19th century physician who reported on the skull sizes of different folk-races. Whereas Gould (1978) claimed that Morton’s conclusions were invalid because they reflected unconscious bias, Lewis et al. alleged that Morton’s findings were, in fact, supported, and Gould’s analysis biased. We take strong exception to Lewis et al.’s thesis that Morton was “right.” We maintain that Gould was right to reject Morton’s analysis as inappropriate and (...)
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  • Gould on Morton, Redux: What can the debate reveal about the limits of data?Jonathan Michael Kaplan, Massimo Pigliucci & Joshua Alexander Banta - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 52:22-31.
    Lewis et al. (2011) attempted to restore the reputation of Samuel George Morton, a 19th century physician who reported on the skull sizes of different folk-races. Whereas Gould (1978) claimed that Morton's conclusions were invalid because they reflected unconscious bias, Lewis et al. alleged that Morton's findings were, in fact, supported, and Gould's analysis biased. We take strong exception to Lewis et al.’s thesis that Morton was “right.” We maintain that Gould was right to reject Morton's analysis as inappropriate and (...)
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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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  • Re-situations of scientific knowledge: a case study of a skirmish over clusters vs clines in human population genomics.James Griesemer & Carlos Andrés Barragán - 2022 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 44 (2):1-32.
    We track and analyze the re-situation of scientific knowledge in the field of human population genomics ancestry studies. We understand re-situation as a process of accommodating the direct or indirect transfer of objects of knowledge from one site/situation to other sites/situations. Our take on the concept borrows from Mary S. Morgan’s work on facts traveling while expanding it to include other objects of knowledge such as models, data, software, findings, and visualizations. We structure a specific case study by tracking the (...)
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  • Putting humanity back into the teaching of human biology.Brian M. Donovan - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 52:65-75.
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  • Where the social meets the biological: new ontologies of biosocial race.Jan Baedke & Azita Chellappoo - 2023 - Synthese 201 (1):1-23.
    In recent years, postgenomic research, and the fields of epigenetics and microbiome science in particular, have described novel ways in which social processes of racialization can become embodied and result in physiological and health-related racial difference. This new conception of biosocial race has important implications for philosophical debates on the ontology of race. We argue that postgenomic research on race exhibits two key biases in the way that racial schemas are deployed. Firstly, although the ‘new biosocial race’ has been characterized (...)
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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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  • The social dimensions of scientific knowledge.Helen Longino - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Dodging Darwin: Race, Evolution, and the Hereditarian Hypothesis.Jonny Anomaly - 2020 - Personality and Individual Differences 160.
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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 Genetic Reification of 'Race'? A Story of Two Mathematical Methods.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - 2014 - Critical Philosophy of Race 2 (2):204-223.
    Two families of mathematical methods lie at the heart of investigating the hierarchical structure of genetic variation in Homo sapiens: /diversity partitioning/, which assesses genetic variation within and among pre-determined groups, and /clustering analysis/, which simultaneously produces clusters and assigns individuals to these “unsupervised” cluster classifications. While mathematically consistent, these two methodologies are understood by many to ground diametrically opposed claims about the reality of human races. Moreover, modeling results are sensitive to assumptions such as preexisting theoretical commitments to certain (...)
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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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