Journal of
Philosophy and Culture

OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF CLASSICS AND PHILOSOPHY, UNIVERSITY OF CAPE COAST
  • Abbreviation: J. Philos. Cult.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 0855-6660
  • DOI: 10.5897/JPC
  • Start Year: 2004
  • Published Articles: 49

Full Length Research Paper

Of races: From social constructionism to biological realism

COREY Barnes
  • COREY Barnes
  • Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Humanities, University of San Diego, United States
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 29 June 2021
  •  Accepted: 13 September 2021
  •  Published: 31 October 2021

Abstract

Racial constructionists tend to make three claims about race: (1) races have their origin as social constructs-that races arise at a particular time in history; (2) races were either created with the purpose or have had the effect of creating hierarchies of power that require treating socially constructed groups in distinct ways; and (3) biological racial realism is false. These claims amount to the larger claim that because races have been (and are) social constructs, they must continue to be social constructs, and that as social constructs races cannot be (or become) biological. In this work, it is assumed the first two claims, and that the third and larger claims can be false. This work provides reasons for inferring possible conditions that would produce biologically real races from certain racial constructionists’ claims, the tenability of epigenetics, culture and identity, and institutional racism.

Key words: Races, social constructionism, biological realism, epigenetics, power, politics, culture, identity, institutional racism.