OpenPsych forums
[OBG] Nature of Race Full - Printable Version

+- OpenPsych forums (
+-- Forum: Forums (
+--- Forum: Post-review discussions (
+--- Thread: [OBG] Nature of Race Full (/showthread.php?tid=226)

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40

RE: Nature of Race part 2 - Chuck - 2015-Jan-26

(2015-Jan-24, 07:34:24)Emil Wrote: There are quite a lot of grey whitespaces in the paper. You can get rid of them by using search and replace (with normal space).

I updated the file. I made all of the suggested corrections.

RE: Nature of Race part 4 - Chuck - 2015-Jan-26

(2015-Jan-25, 05:19:51)Meng Hu Wrote: I have read the conversation in this forum a while ago, and rather quickly, so perhaps I missed something important here, I don't know (although, I have the feeling it had nothing to do with the arguments in defense of the race concept). But here's my first comments (the next ones will be given later).

I made all of the corrections and clarifications, except:

Quote:Try instead "Traditional Human Races (THR) and Biologically Objective Races".

This takes up too much space.

Also, MH said:

Quote:You have, by the way, written Sarich & Miele (2002) instead of (2004), in your argument A3, and Gobineu instead of Gobineau (two times; see IV-L). And in that same section, you have typed Franz Boaz instead of Boas. You have also typed Berneir (1688) four times (in section IV-D), instead of Bernier. I mean... there are quite a handful of awful errors of that kind...

Yes, this is a problem.

RE: Nature of Race, part 3 - Meng Hu - 2015-Jan-28

Several corrections could be made :

Quote:Spencer (2011) presented an apologia for human races as ... it seems to be exclude micro intra-specific natural divisions and thus is also too exclusive.

Quote:Woodley (2009) outlined a consolidated concept in which biological races were said to be ... he noted that this implied a linage concept


Quote:Post-Darwin, species and genus were, in a sense, ontologically demoted.

Maybe you meant "Post-Darwin species and genus were, in a sense, ontologically demoted".

Quote:does not yet preclude to view their inherited differences as originally unified differences as originally unified in their phylum in more predispositions

The correct sentence should be : does not yet preclude to view their inherited difference as originally unified in their phylum in mere predispositions

Quote:Thus, for example, if one is going to maintain that for something to be biological real

"biologically real", perhaps.

Quote:given some pa-biological criteria of “sufficient distinctness”

I don't know what is pa-biological.

Quote:neither discrete nor essentialist, as the historical concept would have it. (James, 2012;emphasis added)

Quote:Like Kant, Buffon did not consider albinos to constitute a race, since to be a members of a race is to share a common linage with other members of the same race

Quote:the same property which explain why individual belong to a population

Perhaps there is an s to individuals.

Quote:As historian James Lennox (2009) has noted, ... "Aristotelian essentialism" in modern philosophy” (Lennox, 2009). ... Unfortunately, James (2012) does not do this

I guess that Lennox (2009) and James (2012) are the same persons. So, it should be Lennox (2012), if the year is not incorrect.

Quote:Sober (1980) tells us that it involves a " Natural State Model", according to which


I have read again the entirety of the article. I don't see any problems generally. But regarding the two citations of Darwin, you have written :

Quote:For Darwin, species as with intraspecific divisions were arbitrary in that they did not carve out real or natural divisions in the species realist sense. They were, nonetheless, natural in the sense meant by Kant and current thinkers.

From what I can tell, the first sentence relates to the first citation, and the second sentence relates to the second; perhaps you should say it explicitly.

In the same section, III-B, there is that sentence from Kant that I cannot understand.

Quote:For one cannot turn a family of animals into a special kind if it belongs with another one to one and the same system of generation of nature.

Can you translate it for me ? Usually, Kant is difficult to read for me (or perhaps it's the english translation that is approximative).

For your section on racial biological essentialism, I'm ok with your changes. Although I said that you could reduce the length of the text, I only said you can (it wasn't a request, but a suggestion) do that by deleting anything that is not important (or is redundant). So, it's not a problem if you can't reduce the length of the text.

RE: Nature of Race, part 3 - Chuck - 2015-Jan-30

(2015-Jan-28, 04:42:41)Meng Hu Wrote: Several corrections could be made

I made the edits; also I changed two short sections, which are in red. Could you read them over.

I uploaded the references for parts 1-3 (checked over) and most of the rest. (I haven't check over the references for sections 4,5,6, though.

I used a different translation of the Kant quote. It should be clearer.

Once you check over the last two changes, I think that we will be good here.

RE: Nature of Race part 1 - Dalliard - 2015-Feb-04

John asked me to comment on this article, so here goes.

1) "I. Biology -- Philosophical Clarification"

Perhaps "I. 'Biologically real' - A Philosophical Clarification"

2) In footnote 2, in the sentence "The work of both men produced a rich...", replace "both men" with the names of these guys (Mill and ?) in brackets.

3) "Instead, we will simply sketch a biological concept of race, defend the validity and biological reality in some sense of this understanding"

Defend ITS validity and biological reality?

4) "although the phrase has been used in other contexts than race; for example, Lange (2012) argues that"

Replace the semicolon with a period. You overuse semicolons.

5) "It appears as though a ‘valid concept’, in whatever field, must be..."

Is this your or Lange's definition of a valid concept?

6) "social groups arise from animal social behavior, which falls under the biological domain of ethnology"

Ethology, not ethnology.

7) In the Kitcher (2007) quote, delete the first sentence, "This response will not do", as superfluous.

8) "Kitcher lays out a theory of pragmatic nature kinds"

Probably 'natural kinds'

9) "the concept gene would be deemed to be epistemologically"

the concept of gene

10) "scientists, philosophers, politicians, or the general population for their various devices and enterprises"

rephrase that, e.g., "for their various purposes"

11) "so long as it is drawn in accords with a valid biological concept"

in accordance with

12) "The debate continues because many desire a single system of “natural classification”, because most agree that this system should be based on genetic relatedness, because there are two related but not identical senses of genetic, genealogical and genotypic (here meant to refer to overall genetic makeup, not merely specific genetic characters), because genotypic relatedness is conditioned by more than mere phylogenic branching, and because, at times, as a result of the discordance between genealogy and genotype, classifications based on the two senses of genetic diverge."

This is a very confusing sentence with its multiple "because" clauses. Divide it into several different sentences.

13) "We find it odd that these same critics do not claim that e.g., “biological populations” (as commonly defined in biology) are likewise unreal"

What sorts of biological populations do you mean here?

14) "in which individuals are arranged by genealogical or, more recently, whole genotypic similarity"

Perhaps, "actual genotypic similarity"?

15) "on the basis of superficial, often phenetic, resemblance"

A definition of 'phenetic' would be welcome.

16) "Immanuel Kant, the most prominent philosopher to discuss race, for example, juxtaposed a natural (meaning genealogical based) understanding with an artificial (meaning phenetic resemblance based) one and situated the race concept in a genealogical based perspective"

genealogy-based rather genealogical based

17) What is it with the weird formatting in the Kant quote?

18) "The grounding in the genealogical (or now, genotypic) perspective, one in which a number of biological research programs (e.g., population genetics, evolutionary biology, and taxonomy) are, establishes the biological kindhood of the concept of race as natural division."

I would write:

The genealogical (or now, genotypic) perspective has been adopted by a number of biological research programs, including population genetics, evolutionary biology*, and taxonomy. This widely shared perspective, rather than taxonomic considerations per se, is what helps establish race as a biological kind. (not sure what the 'natural division' brings here)

* 'Evolutionary biology' seems awfully broad, replace it with something else.

17) "Their existence was part of the basis of Wilson and Brown’s (1953) critique of the subspecies category; according to this influential critique,"

Replace the semicolon with a period.

18) Monophyletic, paraphyletic, and polyphyletic should be defined.

19) Pictures should be numbered.

20) "From the evolutionary taxonomic perspective, birds are not reptiles since they have evolved to be quite genotypically distinct."

What's the actual basis for not considering birds as reptiles in the evolutionary taxonomic scheme? Genomic data weren't available until very recently, so the decision must have been based on phenotypic similarity/fossiles/whatever.

21) Section "I-I. Natural Divisions and Intraspecific Variation" is a mess. It should be rewritten, with particular attention paid to giving clear definitions to all the terms used and incorporating some of the footnotes in the main text.

22) "to use Grove's term"


23) It's a bad practice to give different arguments or options opaque names like a, b, and c, and then use these shorthands even many pages later.

24) "A 2013 editorial in the prestigious journal Nature, for example, states"

A 2013 editorial, titled "Dangerous work. Behavioural geneticists must tread carefully to prevent their research being misinterpreted", in the prestigious...

25) "spontaneous generations"

use singular

26) "effect size guidelines used in the social sciences, such as: Cohen’s d = 0.5 = modest"

"For Cohen's d an effect size of 0.2 to 0.3 might be a "small" effect, around 0.5 a "medium" effect and 0.8 to infinity, a "large" effect." (wikipedia)

RE: [OBG] Nature of Race part 1 - Chuck - 2015-Feb-12

(2015-Feb-04, 16:44:13)Dalliard Wrote: John asked me to comment on this article, so here goes.


Thanks for reading it over. I made all of suggested corrections and rewrites. (In red in the .doc file) The file has been updated. I will check again later for newly introduced errors. Yes, the "Natural Divisions and Intraspecific Variation" section was confusing; thanks for letting me know.


"What's the actual basis for not considering birds as reptiles in the evolutionary taxonomic scheme? Genomic data weren't available until very recently, so the decision must have been based on phenotypic similarity/fossiles/whatever."

Prior, patterns of morphological traits were used. Traits were weighted by supposed genetic information content.

[OBG] Nature of Race part 6 - Chuck - 2015-Mar-05

[OBG] Nature of Race, part 6: A Troublesome Inheritance?

Author: John Fuerst

Abstract: Racial constructionists, anti-naturalists, and anti-realists have challenged users of the biological race concept to provide and defend, from the perspective of biology, biological philosophy, sociology, and ethics, a biologically informed concept of race. We do this in a six part analysis. Part 6 analyzes moral-based objections to the biological race concept.

Keywords: natural division, race, biology

The article can be found here:[/align]

(There are 6 parts; each will be submitted to OBG as a separate chapter.)

[Edit (1/21/2015): Please download the latest version of the document and read it; the OSF browser version does not include the many footnotes.]

RE: [OBG] Nature of Race part 6 - Emil - 2015-Mar-06

The OSF is not public.

RE: [OBG] Nature of Race part 6 - Chuck - 2015-Mar-06

(2015-Mar-06, 01:33:45)Emil Wrote: The OSF is not public.

Thanks. Fixed.

RE: [OBG] Nature of Race part 6 - Emil - 2015-Mar-06

Some comments, mostly typological, some content.

Quote:some have simply argue against certain erroneous conceptions in general

Quote:istorically unjustified requirements deep discontinuities, privileged levels, a lack of within groups variability, taxonomic category status, few in number, etc. --have been out to deconstruct the very concept

Quote:This could be a case of clever sillies, of intellectuals playing word games and stretching the bounds of reason to show off their aptitude; yet, unfailing passionate advocacy argues against a clever silly hypothesis (Charlton, 2012)1. What else? The early race debate sheds light on the matter.

There is also:

Quote:The position that different human groups represented different species (that is, did not share a common ancestry)

A common ancestor?

Quote:aid in achieving this post-racial end.
When it

Quote: Scientists have a responsibility to do what they can to prevent abuses of their work

Initial space.

Quote:For HoSang (2014) biological race concepts are used to construct oppressive social structures and to legitimize racial injustice:
A cursory review of Sesardic’s (2010) [defense of the biological race concept] makes clear that Sesardic advances this argument in large part to recover and legitimate the work of scholars affiliated with the Pioneer Fund, a group founded by American Nazis and Eugenicists in 1937 that has supported some of the most infamous white supremacist research in the twentieth century: studies by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, Arthur Jensen, William Shockley, Linda Gottfredson, and Phillipe Rushton (Tucker 2002)…Sesardic develops the “genomic challenge” thesis in order to recover and legitimate intellectual claims for white supremacy....

As the case of Hsu and Sesardic make clear, the invocation of race as a scientific category has always been linked to the production and naturalization of a social hierarchy. The very substance and rationale of their inquiry is only cognizable within this implicit framework of white supremacy

Strange claims. Herrnstein was Jewish, Hsu is Asian. Why would they advocate white supremacy? What is white supremacy anyway? The brute fact that Europeans are by far the most inventive of the larger races of humans or? (Cf. Murray 2003)? If we can select smaller races, surely Ashkeanzi are the most impressive. I fail to see the big problem here.

Quote:For Appaih (1989) biological race (or at least "racialism") supports "intrinsic

Font size.

Quote: Racialism is not, in itself a doctrine that must be dangerous

Initial space.

Quote:differentiate morally between embers of different races,

Quote:gives the a moral interest in that person, so an intrinsic racist holds that the bare fact of being of the same races is a reason for preferring one person to another.

Extra space at the end.

Quote:For Kitcher (2007) biological race concepts lead to stereotyping and with it racial discrimination and, as a result, unjust inequalities:
In fact the practice [of stereotyping] is even more hideous that I have represented it as being, for a better explanation of the correlations involved past applications of racial concept...So at the root of the causal story are past practices of identifying some people by superficial characteristics, viewing them as belonging to a separate race, and, in consequence, cramping and confining their aspirations and their lives. Crude essentialist notions of race, often committed to prejudiced speculations about the "biological basis" of various cognitive and behavioral traits, have played crucial roles in these practices. Application of the notion of race is thus ultimately responsible for the correlations adduced to "defend" the current practices of stereotyping".

Maybe Kitcher should read Jussim's works. E.g. or one of the review papers/chapters.

Stereotypes help against base rate fallacies, so ignoring group level information would in fact lead to more inaccuracy of individuals.

Quote:(g) Inequality between groups, racial or otherwise, is not morally problematics, per se.

Quote:Excessive inequality might be circumstances depending.

Quote:One could – and this all has been done regarding family and religion as social formations. Such critiques not infrequently have been made – though they have not yet been extended to the use of the concepts; such thought-censoring would be a bridge too far, familiar as these ideas are.

Incoherent use of thought dashes?

Quote:while sociobiologist O.E. Wilson

E O Wilson. Sometimes, you put it the right way, sometimes the wrong way in multiple other places.

Quote:We will consider one major justifications

Quote:We will discuss the problem with argument based on inequality latter on.
Needs pl. I think.

Quote:–makes more likely the use of ethnic markers based on phenotype.

Missing space after thought dash.

Quote:Racial identity and, by way of, the race concept would not be problematic because it is made up -- because races are myths constructed willy-nilly for economic ends -- but rather because it reasonably accurately identifies – or is thought to -- genealogical divisions and because people, indeed all organisms, have evolved to be genetically selfish and, accordingly, have evolved dispositions to discriminate according to cultural and phenotypic indexes of genetic propinquity (Eibl-Eibesfeldt, 1972; van den Berghe, 1981; Rushton, 1989a; Salter and Harpending, 2013)

Needs rewriting. Difficult to read with double embedded sentences.

Quote:The same argument can be made with regards to religion. Presumably, religion taps into something which does or can moves people.

Quote:HoSang’s (2014) is a frequently heard genealogical critique of the genealogical concept of race. The historical grounding, though, is nonexistent. One need not commit oneself to such an untenable position, however. The American Anthropological Association (AAA), for example, simply maintains that that “race” underwrites the “racial worldview” which is bad because it "was invented to assign some groups to perpetual low status, while others were permitted access to privilege, power, and wealth.” The AAA, in this statement, conveniently makes no distinction between “race” in the specific and intraspecific senses -- and leaves unsaid the egalitarian employment of the intraspecific race concept. While neither concept – species or subspecies --was “invented” to create social hierarchies, the AAA does not commit itself to this claim. Rather it does to the position that the “racial worldview” was. The race concept is only guilty by association. The phrase “racial worldview” seems to refer to Smedley’s (1998) concept, which is characterized as (to paraphrase):

The fallacy of concluding something about a concept or idea based on its origin (in this case, not even the true one) is known to logicians as the genetic fallacy.

Quote: The AAA’s indictment of it rests

Initial space.

Quote:We now must now consider this issue.


Quote:well turn out to be like the know class differences, substantially genetically conditioned (Rowe et al., 1998; Trzaskowski, 2014)

Quote: Drawing on a systems perspective,

Initial space.

Quote:True hereditarians would do more still. It would complicated many historical narratives. Time constraints preclude us from elaborating on this latter point.

True hereditarians? Careful about the no true Scotsman fallacy.