The Virtues of Ethnicity

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Virginia Tech

Error theorists about race face a challenge from the occurrence of diseases and other health ailments that, appear, to be tracked by groups that are carved out by racial terms. If race does indeed allow us to make useful medical distinctions, then it would seem foolish or even a form of medical injustice to deny its reality. This paper provides a response to the stated challenge. First, by primarily using the work of Anthony Appiah, I will describe the error theorist position and its arguments for the non-reality of race. From here, I demonstrate the extent to which medical professionals grant the race is a scientifically arbitrary term and give arguments for accepting race as an alternative that may even be more medically useful. Finally, I advance an eliminativist argument to further motivate the notion that race, if it is truly not necessary, should be eliminated from use.

Race, Metaphysics, Realism, Error Theory, Eliminativism