In defense of the metaphysics of race

Adam Hochman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper I defend the metaphysics of race as a valuable philosophical project against deflationism about race. The deflationists argue that metaphysical debate about the reality of race amounts to a non-substantive verbal dispute that diverts attention from ethical and practical issues to do with ‘race.’ In response, I show that the deflationists mischaracterize the field and fail to capture what most metaphysicians of race actually do in their work, which is almost always pluralist and very often normative and explicitly political. Even if debates about the reality of race turn out to be verbal disputes, they are substantive, and worth having.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2709-2729
Number of pages21
JournalPhilosophical Studies
Issue number11
Early online date28 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017


  • Anti-realism about race
  • Deflationism
  • Metaphysics
  • Racial naturalism
  • Social constructionism about race


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