“Against Phylogenetic Conceptions of Race” by Kamuran Osmanoglu (University of Kansas),
Date: Tuesday May 22, 2018
Abstract: Biological racial realism (BRR) continues to be a much-discussed topic, with several recent papers presenting arguments for the plausibility of some type of “biological race.” In this paper, the focus will be on the phylogenetic conceptions of race, which is one of the most promising views of BRR, that define races as lineages of reproductively isolated breeding populations. However, I will argue that phylogenetic conceptions of race fail to prove that races are biologically real. I will develop and defend my argument against the phylogenetic views of race by relying on current research in population genetics, human evolution, and social sciences. Ultimately, I will argue that (i) race is not a biologically legitimate category and (ii) philosophers should direct their resources to understand problems that arise due to racialization, and thereby they should find solutions to those problems.