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, 44 (3), 272-7

What Are We to Make of the Concept of Race? Thoughts of a Philosopher-Scientist

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What Are We to Make of the Concept of Race? Thoughts of a Philosopher-Scientist

Massimo Pigliucci. Stud Hist Philos Biol Biomed Sci.

Abstract

Discussions about the biological bases (or lack thereof) of the concept of race in the human species seem to be never ending. One of the latest rounds is represented by a paper by Neven Sesardic, which attempts to build a strong scientific case for the existence of human races, based on genetic, morphometric and behavioral characteristics, as well as on a thorough critique of opposing positions. In this paper I show that Sesardic's critique falls far short of the goal, and that his positive case is exceedingly thin. I do this through a combination of analysis of the actual scientific findings invoked by Sesardic and of some philosophical unpacking of his conceptual analysis, drawing on a dual professional background as an evolutionary biologist and a philosopher of science.

Keywords: Ecotype; Genotype to phenotype mapping; Intelligence; Race.

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