•  260
    Is “Race” Modern? Disambiguating the Question
    du Bois Review 1 1-19. 2020.
    Race theorists have been unable to reach a consensus regarding the basic historical question, “is ‘race’ modern?” I argue that this is partly because the question itself is ambiguous. There is not really one question that race scholars are answering, but at least six. First, is the concept of race modern? Second, is there a modern concept of race that is distinct from earlier race concepts? Third, are “races” themselves modern? Fourth, are racialized groups modern? Fifth, are the means and metho…Read more
  •  308
    Race and Reference
    Biology and Philosophy 34 (2): 32. 2019.
    The biological race debate is at an impasse. Issues surrounding hereditarianism aside, there is little empirical disagreement left between race naturalists and anti-realists about biological race. The disagreement is now primarily semantic. This would seem to uniquely qualify philosophers to contribute to the biological race debate. However, philosophers of race are reluctant to focus on semantics, largely because of their worries about the ‘flight to reference’. In this paper, I show how philos…Read more
  •  696
    Racialization: A Defense of the Concept
    Ethnic and Racial Studies 42 (8): 1245-1262. 2019.
    This paper defends the concept of racialization against its critics. As the concept has become increasingly popular, questions about its meaning and value have been raised, and a backlash against its use has occurred. I argue that when “racialization” is properly understood, criticisms of the concept are unsuccessful. I defend a definition of racialization and identify its companion concept, “racialized group.” Racialization is often used as a synonym for “racial formation.” I argue that this is…Read more
  •  537
    Replacing Race: Interactive Constructionism about Racialized Groups
    Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 4 61-92. 2017.
    In this paper I defend anti-realism about race and a new theory of racialization. I argue that there are no races, only racialized groups. Many social constructionists about race have adopted racial formation theory to explain how ‘races’ are formed. However, anti-realists about race cannot adopt racial formation theory, because it assumes the reality of race. I introduce interactive constructionism about racialized groups as a theory of racialization for anti-realists about race. Interactive co…Read more
  •  828
    Race: Deflate or Pop?
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 57. 2016.
    Neven Sesardic has recently defended his arguments in favour of racial naturalism—the view that race is a valid biological category—in response to my criticism of his work. While Sesardic claims that a strong version of racial naturalism can survive critique, he has in fact weakened his position considerably. He concedes that conventional racial taxonomy is arbitrary and he no longer identifies ‘races’ as human subspecies. Sesardic now relies almost entirely on Theodosius Dobzhansky’s notion of …Read more
  •  1795
    Do We Need a Device to Acquire Ethnic Concepts?
    Philosophy of Science 80 (5): 994-1005. 2013.
    Francisco Gil-White argues that the ubiquity of racialism—the view that so-called races have biological essences—can be explained as a by-product of a shared mental module dedicated to ethnic cognition. Gil-White’s theory has been endorsed, with some revisions, by Edouard Machery and Luc Faucher. In this skeptical response I argue that our developmental environments contain a wealth, rather than a poverty of racialist stimulus, rendering a nativist explanation of racialism redundant. I also argu…Read more
  •  2187
    Against the New Racial Naturalism
    Journal of Philosophy 110 (6). 2013.
    Support for the biological concept of race declined slowly but steadily during the second half of the twentieth century. However, debate about the validity of the race concept has recently been reignited. Genetic-clustering studies have shown that despite the small proportion of genetic variation separating continental populations, it is possible to assign some individuals to their continents of origin, based on genetic data alone. Race naturalists have interpreted these studies as empirically c…Read more
  •  609
    Racial discrimination: How not to do it
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences (3): 278-286. 2013.
    The UNESCO Statements on Race of the early 1950s are understood to have marked a consensus amongst natural scientists and social scientists that ‘race’ is a social construct. Human biological diversity was shown to be predominantly clinal, or gradual, not discreet, and clustered, as racial naturalism implied. From the seventies social constructionists added that the vast majority of human genetic diversity resides within any given racialised group. While social constructionism about race became …Read more
  •  1239
    In defense of the metaphysics of race
    Philosophical Studies 174 (11). 2017.
    In this paper I defend the metaphysics of race as a valuable philosophical project against deflationism about race. The deflationists argue that metaphysical debate about the reality of race amounts to a non-substantive verbal dispute that diverts attention from ethical and practical issues to do with ‘race.’ In response, I show that the deflationists mischaracterize the field and fail to capture what most metaphysicians of race actually do in their work, which is almost always pluralist and ver…Read more
  •  3096
    Of Vikings and Nazis: Norwegian contributions to the rise and the fall of the idea of a superior Aryan race
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 54 84-88. 2015.
    Nazi ideology was premised on a belief in the superiority of the Germanic race. However, the idea of a superior Germanic race was not invented by the Nazis. By the beginning of the 20th century this idea had already gained not only popular but also mainstream scientific support in England, Germany, the U.S., Scandinavia, and other parts of the world in which people claimed Germanic origins (p. xiii). Yet how could this idea, which is now recognised as ideology of the most dangerous kind, be give…Read more
  •  565
    The phylogeny fallacy and the ontogeny fallacy
    Biology and Philosophy 28 (4): 593-612. 2013.
    In 1990 Robert Lickliter and Thomas Berry identified the phylogeny fallacy, an empirically untenable dichotomy between proximate and evolutionary causation, which locates proximate causes in the decoding of ‘ genetic programs’, and evolutionary causes in the historical events that shaped these programs. More recently, Lickliter and Hunter Honeycutt argued that Evolutionary Psychologists commit this fallacy, and they proposed an alternative research program for evolutionary psychology. For these …Read more
  •  1281
    Unnaturalised Racial Naturalism
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 46 (1): 79-87. 2014.
    Quayshawn Spencer (2014) misunderstands my treatment of racial naturalism. I argued that racial naturalism must entail a strong claim, such as “races are subspecies”, if it is to be a substantive position that contrasts with anti-realism about biological race. My recognition that not all race naturalists make such a strong claim is evident throughout the article Spencer reviews (Hochman, 2013a). Spencer seems to agree with me that there are no human subspecies, and he endorses a weaker form of r…Read more