Argumenta – Journal of Analytic Philosophy


How to Eliminate Race from Human Microbiome Research

Issue: • Author/s: Abigail Nieves Delgado, Jan Baedke
Topics: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Biology, Philosophy of Medicine, Theoretical philosophy

Recent human microbiome research has suggested that racial patterns between different groups of people can be understood as variation in how many and which microbes live in and on their bodies. Such racial classifications (from ‘Indigenous’ to ‘Black’ or ‘Caucasian’) are said to be helpful to better grasp microbiome-linked health-disparities (especially in the Global South) and diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. In this paper, we argue that this assumption is illusive. We identify four different scenarios and argumentative patterns in current human microbiome research, which state that…