Clustering humans: On biological boundaries

Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 39 (1):163-170 (2008)
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Abstract

We inquire into the notions of ‘boundary’ and ‘cluster’ in the fields of medical genetics, pharmacogenetics, and population genetics. First we show that the two notions are not well discussed in literature. Then we propose a promising explication of them, in which we argue that clustering is always ‘property laden’, that is, fundamentally dependent on decisions about the properties to be taken into account. In particular we suggest three different kinds of properties that have a role in these decisions. That is, we conclude that boundaries and clusters among humans depend on our way of considering nature. Concepts of ‘race’ and ‘ethnic group’ are discussed too, since they are the most used clusters among humans.

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References found in this work

A New Perspective on the Race Debate.Robin O. Andreasen - 1998 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 49 (2):199-225.
Race: Biological Reality or Social Construct?Robin O. Andreasen - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (3):666.
The Biological Reification of Race.Lisa Gannett - 2004 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (2):323-345.

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