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DOI: 10.1111/meta.12511


This paper critiques philosophical efforts to biologize race as racial projects (Omi and Winant, Racial Formation in the United States). The paper argues that the deeply social phenomenon of race defies the analytic schema employed by biologizing philosophers. The very (social) act of theorizing race is already in an involuted relationship with its target concept: analyzing race must be seen as a racial project, in that it simultaneously helps to manage how race is represented in society and helps organize society’s resources along particular racial lines. Such biologizing projects are rife with moral and political dimensions and have a depoliticizing effect that has the potential to camouflage, defuse, or explain away the social-structural reproduction of white power/privilege. The paper begins by considering two recent philosophic-scientific biologizations of race, showing how they conform to the analytic schema, reviewing received critical points, and offering several novel ones.


Accepted version. Metaphilosophy, Vol. 52, No. 5 (October 2021): 593-615. DOI. © 2021 Wiley. Used with permission.

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