A metaphysical mapping problem for race theorists and human population geneticists
Robert S. Blank Presidential Associate Professor of Philosophy and Race, Science, & Society Working Group, University of Pennsylvania
In this talk, I identify and clarify a metaphysical mapping phenomenon that’s almost twenty years old. The phenomenon is that the populations at a fivefold subdivision of humans into biological populations—the so-called human continental populations—correspond one-to-one with the five official races of the Office of Management and Budget in the US government. After introducing and defending a four-step deductive argument that involves a key premise justified with extensive abductive reasoning, I conclude that the metaphysical relation that’s exemplified by the aforementioned one-to-one correspondence is identity. I end by exploring interesting implications of this identity thesis for metaphysicians of race and NIH-funded medical scientists.