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The Harvard Review of Philosophy

Volume 26, 2019

Philosophy and Race

Michael O. Hardimon
Pages 103-113
DOI: 10.5840/harvardreview201910426

Four Ways of Thinking about Race

This essay presents four ways of thinking about race. They consist of four related but distinct race concepts: the racialist concept of race, which is the traditional, pernicious, essentialist, and hierarchical concept of race; the concept of socialrace, which is the antiracist concept of race as a social construction; the minimalist concept of race, which is the deflationary concept of biological race that represents race as a matter of color, shape and geographical ancestry; and the populationist concept of race, the race concept that represents races as populations, deriving from geographically separated and reproductive isolated founding populations. Taken together, the four concepts can help us better navigate our way through the murky conceptual domain of “race.”

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