Are human races cladistic subspecies?

South African Journal of Philosophy 34 (2):163-174 (2015)
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Abstract
In the article titled ‘A new perspective on the race debate’,Robin O. Andreasen argues that contrary to popular scientific belief, human races are biologically real—it is just that we are wrong about them. Andreasen calls her contemporary biological concept of race ‘the cladistic race concept’ (or CRC). Her theory uses theory from cladistics—a systematic school founded by entomologist Willi Hennig in 1950—to define human races genealogically as cladistic subspecies. In this paper I will argue that despite its promise as a biological definition of human races, Andreasen's CRC is unconvincing. In particular, I will show that the central problem of the CRC is its attempt to apply cladistics below the species level. In other words, there is good reason to think that cladistic subspecies are not real, and therefore, they cannot be the target of a realist concept of race.
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Archival date: 2017-02-20
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