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Preserving the Concept of Race: A Medical Expedient, a Sociological Necessity

Stephen G. Morris
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 78, No. 5 (December 2011), pp. 1260-1271
DOI: 10.1086/662279
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/662279
Page Count: 12
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Preserving the Concept of Race: A Medical Expedient, a Sociological Necessity
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Abstract

In this essay I argue that there are strong reasons for preserving the concept of race in both medical and sociological contexts. While I argue that there are important reasons to conceive of race as picking out distinctions among populations that are both legitimate and important, the notion of race that I advocate in this essay differs in fundamental ways from traditional folk notions of race. As a result, I believe that the folk understanding of race needs to be either revised or eliminated altogether.

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