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date: 26 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Arguments from reference are widely used by people who otherwise disagree about race. They are used by people who think that race is an illusion (antirealists). They are used by people who think that race is socially real (constructivists). Theories of race across the disciplines normally define “race” descriptively to defend their views on what race is. This normal approach has come under attack, from two angles: that descriptive definitions are flawed, and that using any semantic arguments is fruitless. However, normal race theory can be defended against these objections, because the mode of reference relevant to race is descriptive and there is no privileged nondescriptive mode of reference that is (can be) relevant to the race debates.

Keywords: race, meaning, description, Sally Haslanger, theories of race

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