What ‘biological racial realism’ should mean
- Quayshawn Spencer
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A curious ambiguity has arisen in the race debate in recent years. That ambiguity is what is actually meant by ‘biological racial realism’. Some philosophers mean that ‘race is a natural kind in biology’, while others mean that ‘race is a real biological kind’. However, there is no agreement about what a natural kind or a real biological kind should be in the race debate. In this article, I will argue that the best interpretation of ‘biological racial realism’ is one that interprets ‘biological racial realism’ as ‘race is a genuine kind in biology’, where a genuine kind is a valid kind in a well-ordered scientific research program. I begin by reviewing previous interpretations of ‘biological racial realism’ in the race debate. Second, I introduce the idea of a genuine kind and compare it to various notions of natural and real biological kinds used in the race debate. Third, I present and defend an argument for my view. Fourth, I provide a few interesting consequences of my view for the race debate. Last, I provide a summary of the article.
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- What ‘biological racial realism’ should mean
Volume 159, Issue 2 , pp 181-204
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
- Additional Links
- Natural kind
- Genuine kind
- Biological racial realism
- The race debate
- Cladistic race
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Philosophy, University of San Francisco, 2130 Fulton Street, San Francisco, CA, 94117, USA