On Eliminative Materialism Paul Churchland Analysis

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While the institution of race persists in society, many reject or are skeptical of the existence and importance of race. In Paul Churchland’s work, “On Eliminative Materialism,” he speaks about the use of “folk science,” (specifically “folk psychology”) by earlier generations of people. When mentioning “folk science,” Churchland refers to theories held by groups of people when they lacked sufficient scientific knowledge of a particular situation; eventually, according to Churchland, these theories will grow obsolete and cease to exist. Gods controlling the weather and the belief that the earth revolves around the sun are classified as folk sciences. Therefore, Churchland could argue race a similar vein. If simply an institution created by people …show more content…

The articles, “Does ‘Race’ Have a Future or Should the Future Have ‘Races’? Reconstruction or Eliminativism in a Pragmatist Philosophy of Race,” by Jacoby Adeshei Carter, and, again, “Race,” by author Dr. Michael James (Ph.D), discuss a few of these objections. James discusses the theory of “racial skepticism,” which, as the name suggests, denies the existence of race entirely. Scientifically speaking, racial skeptics believe that essences, including geography, phenotypes, genotypes, and genealogy, the only possible scientific explanations for race, do not provide substantial evidence. Geography refers to the location, place, or region from which an individual originates. Phenotypes are physical characteristics, such as skin color, eye color, and height. Genotypes are the genes, or DNA, passed down from one generation to the next that provide the offspring with certain phenotypes. Genealogy, related to genotypes, shows the lineage from a common ancestor. The results of genealogical studies provide characteristics similar to the genotypes. In simpler terms, as noted in Carter’s article; if scientifically provable, evidence for race must come from “biological essence,” a theory suggested by Matthew Arnold, or “biological inheritance,” suggested by Thomas Jefferson. The “theory of essence,” championed by “Racial Eliminativists,” states that the geographical environment, not race itself, causes physical …show more content…

This argument addresses the belief that race does not exist in the first place. In this example, if race does not exist, then it certainly cannot be the most important part of who we human person’s are. While this argument makes this valid point concerning the lack of supportive scientific information, I am arguing that scientific and biological traits make up only a small fraction of what race is. Again, I believe that as a social institution, society only draws on some biological/physical traits in the creation of racial divisions; the traits that society looks to are not “race” themselves. Throughout this paper, I argued for race’s importance in defining who we are as human beings. First, I introduced the concept of race, defined terms, and provided background information that show cased the role of race throughout history into modernity. Next, I introduced my argument, provided sources, and a outlined a valid argument in support of race’s importance to human beings. Finally, I acknowledged two possible objects to my argument and responded to them. After reviewing all of the definitions, background information, arguments, and explanations for race, one can confidently conclude that as a result of our social institutions, race is an important feature of who we human persons

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