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[OBG] Nature of Race Full

"A more ecumenical proposal in this spirit would be to say that the word “race” refers to populations, more generally. The trouble is that, in this sense, while there are human populations that are and have been for some time relatively reproductively isolated, it is not at all plausible to claim that any social subgroup in the United States is such a population. In this sense, then, there are human races, because there are human populations, in the geneticists’ sense, but no large social group in America is a race. (The Amish, however, might come out as a race on this view, since they are a relatively reproductively isolated local population.)" (Appiah, 1996)

"Such genetic isolation might refer to the Amish in America (Appiah 1996, 73) or to Irish Protestants (Zack 2002, 69), but they clearly cannot refer to those groupings of people presently subsumed under American racial census categories. Because the concept “race” can only apply to groups not typically deemed races (Amish, Irish Protestants), and because this concept cannot apply to groups typically deemed races (African Americans, Whites, Asians, Native Americans), a mismatch occurs between the concept and its typical referent. Thus, the concept of race must be eliminated due to its logical incoherence (Mallon 2006, 526, 533)."
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/race/
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(2015-Sep-01, 00:42:22)Krom Wrote: Yes, also if you could show them as local breeding populations (demes) or just spatial populations covering small regions. By "local" or "small" I don't mean Buffon's (or whoever it was) "Tatar race".


1. Regarding races and names: Races can be treated as taxa (divisions formally assigned to a distinct category -- in this case, "subspecies" -- in a hierarchical system of classification), in which case they are given formal names (trinomia). And races can be treated as units of analysis, in which case race represents a non-hierarchical classification, like "(spatial) population", "morph", or "ecotype". It would be impractical to formally name all races of a species at a given time and to list them in catalogues; and doing so would require a multiplying of the number of taxonomic categories (sub-subspecies, sub-sub-subspecies -- some of these were once proposed e.g., natio). This is pretty obvious and it is the standard reason that systematicists give for creating an arbitrary threshold for formal racial recognition. Now, this is what I mean by "it would be impractical to formally name all races". When treating races as units of analysis, it would be inexpedient, since one never analyzes all races at one time. The same applies with respect to the other classifications noted above. I fail to see why you don't recognize the equivalence of the situation. But perhaps you think that races should only be treated as taxa? I discussed this position in length. I noted that races were not originally treated as taxa (see Kant's discussion in his third paper) and they were never all treated so. To sum up, if you wish to argue that race is only a useful classification if all races in a given species at a given time are given names then you must either (a) maintain that races must be taxa or (b) contend that same holds for all other like classifications e.g., "deme", "(spatial) population", "morph", "biotype", "stock", "strain", "cluster", "form", "ecotype", "groups" (i.e., assemblages of closely related taxa), "semispecies", and "super-species". Which will it be? You will have to adopt either an absurd position (b) or a revisionist one (a).

2. Regarding races and levels of analysis, which of the following would you like to maintain were not infrequently recognized as races (in the sense which I mean)?
a. major regional divisions like Buffon's European race
b. lesser regional divisions like Buffon's Tartar race
c. nation-size ethnic divisions like "Japanese" (often called "minor races" or "local races") e.g., "Sarawak has a mixed population, consisting of Malays, Milanows, Chinese, Dyaks, and other minor races too numerous to mention" (De Windt, 1882)
d. largish intra-national divisions like some of the many races of Africa enumerated by Prichard in "Physical Ethnography Of The African Races".
e. Smaller groups like Congolese pygmies or various island and hill races (sometimes called "tribal races") and other well differentiated department or village sized groups e.g., many of Wallace's Malay Archipelago races in "On the varieties of man in the Malay Archipelago".
f. weakly differentiated adjacent department or village sizes groups

As for (f), I am not sure if many of these would (currently) constitute races as I define them, since many would not be linebred=isolated enough. Recall that my races are neither spatial populations nor demes which differ on average, they are divisions for which members are more related to each other than to those of other divisions. Whatever the case, clarify your position so that I may respond.
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(2015-Sep-01, 16:37:55)Krom Wrote: "A more ecumenical proposal in this spirit would be to say that the word “race” refers to populations, more generally. The trouble is that, in this sense, while there are human populations that are and have been for some time relatively reproductively isolated, it is not at all plausible to claim that any social subgroup in the United States is such a population. In this sense, then, there are human races, because there are human populations, in the geneticists’ sense, but no large social group in America is a race. (The Amish, however, might come out as a race on this view, since they are a relatively reproductively isolated local population.)" (Appiah, 1996)


As I have noted, "population" is an ambiguous term. It can mean either: (a) spatial population, (b) deme, © what I call race (natural division), or (d) some ambiguous mix of the previous three. The US and the UK represent two different "populations" in the sense of (a) and (b), but few would say that they represent two separate races. By population, Appiah seems to mean © -- surely he doesn't just mean e.g., mendelian populations between which there are some differences since by this there would be many large social "races" e.g., social classes, religious denominations, and linguistic groups. As for his point, I discussed this at the end of my section II. I noted that self identified race/ethnicity (SIRE) groups overlap with biological races. Of course there are separate © in the U.S! That is, you can divide the US spatial population into natural division, ones which overlap, to some degree, with SIRE groups -- I provided references in defense of this point. These races would, of course, be somewhat continuous, owing to admixture, but we discussed that issue prior.

Quote:"Because the concept “race” can only apply to groups not typically deemed races (Amish, Irish Protestants), and because this concept cannot apply to groups typically deemed races (African Americans, Whites, Asians, Native Americans), a mismatch occurs between the concept and its typical referent. Thus, the concept of race must be eliminated due to its logical incoherence (Mallon 2006, 526, 533)."

It's bizarre that this passes for philosophy, isn't it? (I, of course, criticized some other aspects of the article in my paper; I wasn't unaware of it.) Anyways, his trick works by conflating the concept of SIRE with that of biological race (as c). The "logical incoherence" is simply a mirage produced by his equivocation. Once the distinction is recognized the utility of the biological race (as c) concept becomes apparent. It's curious that he doesn't argue against the concept of e.g., "biogeographic ancestry group" (race) on the same grounds and claim that the vast admixture mapping research program is epistemically confused. Or, for that matter, argue against the sociological concept of race (SIRE) -- by just reversing the argument -- and deduce that e.g., affirmative actions rests on epistemically shaky grounds. Sophist.
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Stuff you were saying popped up elsewhere, let me clarify:

Any two demes are not genetically identical, so what now? Are you saying the Amish, or an isolated jungle tribe of 60 people are races?. Races never were demes in the taxonomic literature. A race has always required a significant level of genetic differentiation. If you cannot show this you've lost the debate and are re-defining race. This is what Fuerst does, also Sesardic (2010), see Hochman (2013). -- Krom (talk) 17:02, 6 September 2015 (UTC)

Always e.g., "[Subspecies are] plants which agree in essentials almost completely with each other, and are often so similar to each other that an inexperienced person has trouble in separating them, and about which one can conjecture, not without reason, that they have formally had a common mother, notwithstanding that they now always reproduce their like from seed." (Ehrhart, 1784) -- Michael C (talk) 20:56, 6 September 2015 (UTC)

This is just petty semantics:

"Ehrhart deliberately distinguished between the rank of subspecies on the one hand and varieties on the other, and that all the trinomials he proceeded to list were subspecies." (Subspecies in the Works of Friedrich Ehrhart)

So what are his "varieties"? It looks like he just reversed varieties for subspecies (race). "Varieties" would be demes (as far back as 1777 this is what "variety" loosely meant e.g. trivial differences between Athenians and Boeotians in Greece is the example Kant gives). Note that even back then it was realized local populations ("varieties") were not races: "might even be called a race, if their characteristic feature does not seem too insignificant" (Kant, 1777). Anyway, three years before Ehrhart, Esper (1781) who first introduced the term "subspecies" made clear they require substantial differences. If you even understand the reversal word-play in Ehrhart - he apparently did too (otherwise he wouldn't have made a distinction between subspecies and varieties). Krom (talk) 22:38, 6 September 2015 (UTC)
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lOL. I would love to see who was on that "peer review" panel for your book/paper. I mean I've caught you out again distorting someone (this time Ehrhart).
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"Anyway, three years before Ehrhart, Esper (1781) who first introduced the term "subspecies" made clear they require substantial differences."

Before i'm accused of posting a lie, here's my source:
http://antbase.org/ants/publications/108...2_0063.pdf

Full citation: http://sysbio.oxfordjournals.org/content/6/2/53.extract
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In your book you quote Esper, but not where he states subspecies require "perfect similarity" in certain traits.
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I cited Hochman above, here's what he wrote:

"Sesardic is attempting to revive race on the same definition: “the basic meaning of “race” seems to imply that, due to a common ancestry, members of a given race A will display increased genetic similarity, which will make them in some way genetically different from individuals belonging to another race, B” (Sesardic 2010, 144). This definition is too weak to revive what Sesardic calls “common-sense” racial classification because any groups (including neighbouring towns, socio-economic groups, etc.) that have
reduced gene-flow could be racialised. It is going to be hard to convince scientists, philosophers, laypeople – anyone really – that this definition of ‘race’ should be adopted."
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(2015-Sep-07, 00:54:23)Krom Wrote: lOL. I would love to see who was on that "peer review" panel for your book/paper. I mean I've caught you out again distorting someone (this time Ehrhart).


A strange question given that you are posting in the very thread where the reviewing happened. Presumably are you talking about the pre-publication review.

Due to the political animosity, getting reviewers is difficult. This of course allows critics to claim that things were not reviewed properly afterwards. A silly argument based on self-censorship and political pressure.

It is the same tactic used with the Pioneer Fund. First make it impossible to obtain funding for important research due to political animosity, then after people get money from the PF, say research is unreliable because funded by 'racists'.

Fuerst wrote earlier who was approached for the role of reviewer:

http://openpsych.net/forum/showthread.ph...26#pid3226
http://openpsych.net/forum/showthread.ph...46#pid3246
http://openpsych.net/forum/showthread.ph...84#pid3284
http://openpsych.net/forum/showthread.ph...95#pid3295

But apparently very difficult to get anyone to review this. So John settled for:

Kevin MacDonald's review
http://openpsych.net/forum/showthread.ph...81#pid3381

Aside from that, Peter Frost, Meng Hu, Davide Piffer, myself and yourself reviewed it before publication. Since you were posting in this very thread back then, you should know this.
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(2015-Sep-07, 00:58:47)Krom Wrote: "Anyway, three years before Ehrhart, Esper (1781) who first introduced the term "subspecies" made clear they require substantial differences."

Before i'm accused of posting a lie, here's my source:
http://antbase.org/ants/publications/108...2_0063.pdf

Full citation: http://sysbio.oxfordjournals.org/content/6/2/53.extract


Krom,

I can, to a degree, tolerate your lack of critical reading skills, but not your slander. If you are going to continue to misrepresent the content of my work here and elsewhere, I can no longer persist with this exchange. If it is pointed out to me that you continue with such misstatements, I will be forced to end this dialogue.

Regarding Ehrhart's subspecies, he explicitly referred to them as "constant varieties":"[Subspecies are] ... often so similar to each other that an inexperienced person has trouble in separating them. They are in a word, Varieties constantes, or an intermediate between species and Spielarten". This is the same type of entity which Buffon and others called "races": "The races in each species of animal are only constant varieties which perpetuate themselves by generation." (Buffon, 1778).

"Variety" originally referred to environmental induced deviations from a species type e.g., Linnaeus's geographic varieties of man (europaeus, afer, asiaticus, americanus). But soon it was realized that certain varieties, including human varieties, were continually transmitting their form independent of the environment, through their seed.

These were originally called "constant varieties", since the characteristic form remained constant, to a degree, across environments. Buffon popularized the term "race" to refer to them and conceptualized them as lineages, phylogenic networks, or lines of descent.

Varieties, constant and inconstant, could refer to both trivial and to relatively extensive, though not essential, difference, for example the magnitudes of differences found between various breeds of dogs, horses, or cattle. As Blyth noted: "The term “variety” ... is vague in the degree of being alike used to denote the slightest individual variation, and the most dissimilar breeds which have originated from one common stock." Of course, "race" and "subspecies" described constant varieties (both wild and domesticated), not inconstant ones. (And yes, unlike "races", constant varieties qua "subspecies" were mostly treated as taxa, thus setting up the modern distinction.)

Now, conceptualizing "constant varieties" as "demes" is odd, since, unlike "constant varieties" (races), "demes" are not delineated in terms of genealogically transmitted traits. And unlike "demes", "constant varieties" (races), were not delineated in terms of descendant sharing. But if you wish to redefine the terms, I suppose that you could. In this case, Krom demes = races between which there are relatively small differences.

Now, you go on to criticize my reading of Esper. You cite a passage which quotes him as saying:

"Subspecies which are generally called varieties, are to be clearly separated from them. That they took their origin from species, is clearly revealed by perfect similarity of the essential parts."

In contrast, I quote him, in section III, as saying:

Esper (1782): "Subspecies (untergattungen, Races) which are generally called varieties, are to be clearly separated from them. That they originated from species is clearly revealed by the perfect similarity of the essential parts... they are equally capable of producing offspring, an ability which varieties are denied."

And he originally wrote:

"Subspecies (untergattungen, Races) quae vulgo annumerantur varietatibus, plane ab his sunt separandae. Originem ex speciebus duxisse, perfectus in iis declarat partium essentialium similitudo. Characteríbus autem pariter sunt distinctae, quamvis minus essentialibus, caussa qua fuere mutatae eadem manente, sive sit externa sive interna. Ad procreandam sobolem eamque ipsis aequalem aptae, differunt hac virtute a varietatibus quibus ea denegata est."

The first point to note is that my translation was little different from the one you provided, which is amazing since, in undergrad, I studied Greek not Latin. The second is that, contrary to what you claim, I did not leave out the part about "perfect similarity". The third is that you completely misread his statement.

Esper is saying that subspecies/races are not the same as inconstant varieties ("plane ab his sunt separandae") because like species, and unlike inconstant varieties, they reproduce their separate type ("Ad procreandam sobolem eamque ipsis aequalem aptae"). But, he notes, they are also not like species, because they originated from species ("Originem ex speciebus duxisse"), similar to how inconstant varieties do ("caussa qua fuere mutatae eadem manente"), which is obvious because they lack essential or species-like differences ("perfectus in iis declarat partium essentialium similitudo"). That is, according to Esper, different subspecies/races, while distinct ("Characteríbus autem pariter sunt distinctae") are essentially the same and thus unlike species.

Now, perhaps you can explain how you get "subspecies require "perfect similarity" in certain traits" from " Originem ex speciebus duxisse, perfectus in iis declarat partium essentialium similitudo". And while you are at it, perhaps you can explain how Esper's statement that subspecies are while different essentially the same fits with your narrative.

By the way, the origin, which I bothered to (attempt to) read is here: http://openpsych.net/forum/attachment.php?aid=634

Oh, you didn't yet answer my question above.
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