Is Race a Natural Kind?

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Introduction

Natural kind forms a scientific discipline that is frequently divided to derive the actual meaning. Majorly, the scientific study offers two perceptive, one that entails the naturalness of a “”kind”” and the kindhood. The naturalness of a kind tries to establish whether the naturalness of a kind is what makes it natural.

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On the other hand, the kindhood offers a different understanding in that it entails finding out whether the components that make up a thing is what makes it natural (Porcher 2016, 212). However, in consideration of both studies, the naturalness of an element corresponds to the structure of the natural environment, and not on the human interests and actions. Therefore, it is by logical assumption that science has succeeded in revealing all the natural occurrences whereas the classification and the taxonomies are all by scientific realism. As a result, psychology can easily reverse on the kinds that it holds as natural. Therefore, there is a significant connectedness between the study of natural kinds and realism.

The realistic position on natural kinds

In this regard, realism refers to the view of the existence of entities in natural kinds. On the other hand, naturalism refers to the presence of natural groupings with distinctions among them. Therefore, naturalism has no ontological commitment while realism is an ontologically committed type of view. Notably, the realistic position maintains on the fact that it is not possible to explain the differences between the natural and the non-natural groupings without considering entities in natural kinds. (Franklin-Hall and Laura 2015, 928) Different theories on natural kinds exist and efficiently compete to offer a well-developed concept. Firstly, the cluster of natural kinds is usually developed according to similar objectives and common properties which form a single group. It is challenging to determine a natural kind in realism as opposed to conventional.

Therefore, a suitable way to draw an appropriate distinction is through the similarities and the standard features while the later majorly depends on the human interests. Secondly, natural kinds are believed to have essences. According to (Magnus 2015, 7), essence refers to a membership-determining a given property which is not only necessary but also sufficient enough to belong to a specific group. However, the theories fail to agree on the way essential characteristics in a kind. Whereas, the fundamental properties are responsible for other features associated with the type. For instance, having an atomic number 79 makes something a member of a particular group. However, there are other properties regarding color, mass and density.

Phenotypical features are sufficient to pick out a natural kind

Evidently, contemporary philosophers in the field of biology held for the longest time that biological species are insufficient to be regarded as natural kinds.

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