Philosophy of the Social Sciences 48 (2):139-167 (2018)

There is a lively ongoing debate among philosophers and social scientists about the reality of race and among social scientists about the reality of caste and ethnicity. This paper tries to sort out what the issues are and makes some preliminary suggestions about what the evidence shows. Standard philosophical analyses try to find the necessary and sufficient conditions of our concept of race. I argue that this is not the best way to approach the issue and that the reality of these concepts should be taken as a scientific realism question; that is, do our best social scientific accounts of these phenomena show that appealing to the concepts of race, caste, and ethnicity is essential to successful social science explanation? I argue that in some cases that is the case and lay out the empirical issues involved.
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Reprint years 2017, 2018
DOI 10.1177/0048393117742878
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References found in this work BETA

How the Laws of Physics Lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Fact, Fiction, and Forecast.Nelson Goodman - 1955 - Harvard University Press.
Causality.Judea Pearl - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.
Real Patterns.Daniel C. Dennett - 1991 - Journal of Philosophy 88 (1):27-51.

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Citations of this work BETA

Concrete Ontology: Comments on Lauer, Little, and Lohse.Harold Kincaid - 2021 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 51 (1):40-47.
Optimism for Naturalized Social Metaphysics: A Reply to Hawley.Daniel Saunders - 2019 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 50 (2):138-160.
Motivating a Pragmatic Approach to Naturalized Social Ontology.Richard Lauer - forthcoming - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie:1-17.
What Is Race? Four Philosophers, Six Views.Phila Mfundo Msimang - 2022 - Philosophical Papers 51 (1):115-145.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

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