Argumenta – Journal of Analytic Philosophy


Against a Radical Solution to the Race Problem

Issue: • Author/s: Fabio Bacchini
Topics: Epistemology, Philosophy of Biology, Philosophy of language, Philosophy of Race, Philosophy of science

In this paper I reconstruct Spencer (2014)’s argument supporting the conclusion that ‘race’, in its current U.S. meaning, is a rigidly designating proper name for a biologically real entity, specifically for the partition at the K = 5 level of human population structure. Then, I object to the argument by contesting three distinct key assertions in it. First, I contest the assumption that if a term t has a logically inconsistent set of identifying conditions but a robust extension, then it is appropriate to identify the meaning of t as…

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…

Race in Medicine: Moving Beyond the United States

Issue: • Author/s: Azita Chellappoo
Topics: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Biology, Philosophy of Medicine, Philosophy of Race, Philosophy of science

Debates over the use of racial categories in medicine have, thus far, been largely focused on cases and considerations occurring in the United States. However, race is used in medical settings in many places outside the US. I argue that the US focus leads to important limitations in our ability to understand and intervene on issues of race in medicine in other areas of the world. I draw on work from metaphysics of race debates to indicate why transnational continuities and discontinuities in race present a problem for US focused…