Philosophy 1020 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Natural Kind, Asteroid Family, If And Only If

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Many people who think about it claim that race don"t exist, or that races aren"t real. It could mean that race is not a natural kind. One way to think of the claim is as denying that races are natural kinds. Let"s work with the ideas we saw last class, from: plato, coyne, mill. Race has been used for pernicious reasons license for mistreatment. The history of race is simply the history of racism, hence our suspicion of the category. There is no consistency across the world about the principles of sorting; unlike species, there is no consistency in specifying distinctions when sorting persons. Sometimes, things only have in common whatever it is that we decide they have in common (we choose to sort things, and the context of which we choose is what decided which members belong and which don"t) The world can be sorted in any number of ways that we want.

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