The reality of race: Against racial eliminativism
Halady, Steven W.
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Racial Eliminativism is the view that we ought to eliminate race from our ontologies, our social/political discourse, and from philosophical and scientific inquiry. Racial eliminativism comes in two varieties, ethical and ontological. Ethical eliminativists argue that we should eliminate race because of the negative effects that will arise as a result of retaining it. These arguments are not do not support the conclusion that all theories of race are morally problematic, and so do not support the eliminativist conclusion. Others argue for racial eliminativism on scientific and ontological grounds. However, these arguments rest on a faulty assumption. Correcting for this assumption points toward a scientifically defensible biological component to race. Biology alone is not enough to account for the social, political, and ethical features of race and racial traits. A complete theory of race must take into account the constructive role of society, norms, and values. This conclusion opens the way for an investigation of the contributions that biology and society each make to an ontological account of race, and an examination of contemporary theories of race that do not rest upon the faulty assumptions of the eliminativists.