A Radical Solution to the Race Problem

A Radical Solution to the Race Problem

Philosophy of Science
Volume 81, Number 5 (December 2014)
pages 1025-1038
DOI: 10.1086/677694

Quayshawn Spencer, Assistant Professor of Philosophy
University of Pennsylvania

It has become customary among philosophers and biologists to claim that folk racial classification has no biological basis. This paper attempts to debunk that view. In this paper, I show that ‘race’, as used in current U.S. race talk, picks out a biologically real entity. I do this by, first, showing that ‘race’, in this use, is not a kind term, but a proper name for a set of human population groups. Next, using recent human genetic clustering results, I show that this set of human population groups is a partition of human populations that I call ‘the Blumenbach partition’.

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