Are Our Racial Concepts Necessarily Essentialist Due to Our Cognitive Nature?

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Mallon and Kelly claim that hybrid constructionism predicts, at least, that (1) racial representations are stable over time and (2) that racial representations should vary more in mixed-race cultures than in cultures where there is less racial mixing. I argue that hybrid constructionism’s predictions do not obtain and thus hybrid constructionism requires further evidence. I argue that the historical record is inconsistent with hybrid constructionism, and I suggest that humans may not be innately disposed to categorize people by race even though we are likely disposed to categorize people into in and out groups. So, in this paper, I show that there is an evidence set that is inconsistent with hybrid constructionism.
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Archival date: 2020-04-24
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