8 Pages

I ntroduction: Reason and Method

This chapter considers several theoretical aspects of the 1998 American Anthropological Association Statement on "Race" and the commentary on an earlier draft of this statement, published in the Anthropology Newsletter (AN) between September 1997 and September 1998. Although the founders of the modern sciences, including anthropology, started out as philosophers, philosophy of science is a relatively new specialization in the field of philosophy, and its model has largely been the science of physics. The chapter shows how the nonexistence of race, that is, the falsity of biological racial essentialism, makes it unnecessary to argue against links between racial biology and culture, that is, cultural racial essentialism. Given that human variety is real but not racial, it should also be possible to understand how limited forensic classification or typology may be pursued without racialist, much less racist, projections.