Jonathan Kaplan: Turning social categories into biological realities:'Race' made biological

February 7, 2013

January 28, 2013

Jonathan Kaplan

ABSTRACT: Biological facts can neither determine nor justify the racial categories identified in our ordinary social discourse.  Claims to the contrary confuse our ability to find biological correlates to populations with our social reasons for picking out and maintaining those categories over time.  Using recent arguments surrounding "race" and medicine as an example, I argue that rejecting misguided claims regarding the biological nature of "race" remains important if we are to respond appropriately to the injustices inherent in the fundamental importance that socially ascribed racial categories continue to have in determining people's life-prospects

ABOUT: Dr. Jonathan Kaplan' s main research interests lie in the Philosophy of Biology and in Social and Political Philosophy.  His recent publications include work on human behavior genetics, on the conceptual foundations of evolutionary biology, on issues surrounding the roles that race plays in medicine and in housing, and on the discourses surrounding race and human biology more generally.  He is currently  an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Oregon State University.

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