Against the New Metaphysics of Race

D.J. Ludwig

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The aim of this article is to develop an argument against metaphysical debates about the existence of human races. I argue that the ontology of race is underdetermined by both empirical and nonempirical evidence owing to a plurality of equally permissible candidate meanings of “race.” Furthermore, I argue that this underdetermination leads to a deflationist diagnosis according to which disputes about the existence of human races are nonsubstantive verbal disputes. While this diagnosis resembles general deflationist strategies in contemporary metaphysics, I show that my argument does not presuppose controversial metametaphysical assumptions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-265
JournalPhilosophy of Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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