In this dissertation, I assess the nature of racial discourse from an interdisciplinary perspective. I argue against the new biological racial realism, according to which races are genetic natural kinds or distinct parts of the human phylogenetic tree. I show—on both empirical and theoretical grounds—that the reality of race cannot be supported in this way. Then, I turn to evolutionary biology and psychology for a proper account of race that can underwrite racial discourse. According to this account, there is no specific psychological mechanism that has evolved to track races in humans: racial cognition in early infancy is the result of a psychological mechanism that humans have evolved to assess similarities/differences in human faces, and racial cognition later in life is the result of various mechanisms that evolved to track social groups of one kind or another.
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