Race: A Social Destruction of a Biological Concept

Biology and Philosophy 25 (2):143-162 (2010)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
It is nowadays a dominant opinion in a number of disciplines (anthropology, genetics, psychology, philosophy of science) that the taxonomy of human races does not make much biological sense. My aim is to challenge the arguments that are usually thought to invalidate the biological concept of race. I will try to show that the way “race” was defined by biologists several decades ago (by Dobzhansky and others) is in no way discredited by conceptual criticisms that are now fashionable and widely regarded as cogent. These criticisms often arbitrarily burden the biological category of race with some implausible connotations, which then opens the path for a quick eliminative move. However, when properly understood, the biological notion of race proves remarkably resistant to these deconstructive attempts. Moreover, by analyzing statements of some leading contemporary scholars who support social constructivism about race, I hope to demonstrate that their eliminativist views are actually in conflict with what the best contemporary science tells us about human genetic variation.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
SESRAS
Revision history
Archival date: 2018-11-11
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
The Ordinary Concept of Race.Hardimon, Michael O.
Color Conscious: The Political Morality of Race.Wilkins, David B.; Appiah, Kwame Anthony & Gutmann, Amy

View all 32 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

View all 29 citations / Add more citations

Added to PP index
2010-01-16

Total views
564 ( #3,921 of 38,963 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
71 ( #5,559 of 38,963 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.