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Tennessee Philosophical Association
50th Annual Meeting: Oct. 26-27, 2018
Vanderbilt University

 Keynote Speaker

 Quayshawn Spencer, University of Pennsylvania

A Radical Solution to the Race Problem


Abstract. Recent work in population genetics has revealed that the human species naturally subdivides into five major biological populations: Africans, Caucasians, East Asians, Native Americans, and Oceanians. Since the discovery of these continental populations - as they're called - there has been a question about what the correct metaphysical relationship is between the human continental populations and the five official races of the US government: Asians, American Indians, Blacks, Pacific Islanders, and Whites. This question has been of interest to medical geneticists as well as race scholars from anthropology, sociology, history, and philosophy. In this talk, I will argue that the correct metaphysical relationship is identity. Furthermore, I will argue this by defending the view that what 'race' means in the official race talk of the US government is just the set of human continental populations. After solving this metaphysical quandary, I show that one implication of this result is that metaphysicians of race have been adopting the wrong metametaphysical position about what the correct US race theory looks like. In short, the trend in the metaphysics of race has been to adopt a monist position about the nature and reality of race given how 'race' is dominantly used in American English. However, I show that this stance is incorrect, and instead, the correct metametaphysical position is what I call radical racial pluralism.

Friday, 7:30 P.M., 114 Furman Hall, followed by a spirited reception



Sessions: Saturday, Furman Hall
9:00 am through 5:00 pm


Call for Papers

Papers are welcome on topics in any area of philosophy.  Maximum length is 3,000 words for the body of the paper (approximately 10 double-spaced pages). Head your paper with a short abstract of no more than 100 words. Please use Times New Roman or other suitable 12 point font.

Electronic submissions are strongly preferred.  Please include your title, 100-word abstract, and word count in your submission email.  The paper itself may be in Word, rtf, or PDF format.  If you cannot submit electronically, mail two hardcopies to the association president; be sure to include an email address for follow up communication.

If you might be willing to comment on a paper, please indicate the areas in which you would be happy to serve as a commentator.

Deadline: Deadline for receipt of submissions is Friday, August 24th, 2018.

Submissions should be sent directly to our President:

David Miguel Gray
[subject line: "TPA submission"]

Snail mail:
David Miguel Gray
337 Clement Hall
Department of Philosophy
The University of Memphis
Memphis, TN 38152

Respondents:  We will issue a call for commentators in mid-September; please help by volunteering and encouraging your advanced students and colleagues to do so, too.

Decisions will be sent in mid-September.


A map and directions to Furman Hall are available on the Vanderbilt Website.  You will need to click the "Back" button to return to the TPAWeb site after you go to Vandy's  map and directions to Furman Hall.

Furman Hall --Photograph by Neil Brake

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