Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Michael Diamond-Hunter (LSE): “The limits of accuracy for retrospective descriptions of racial groups”

17 November 2020, 2:00 pm3:30 pm

This event will take place online via Zoom. 

Everyone is welcome to join using a computer with access to the internet and Zoom. To take part just follow these instructions:

Please note that these events are routinely recorded, with the edited footage being made publicly available on our website and YouTube channel. We will only record the audio, the slides and the speaker and will not include the Q&A section. However, any question asked during the talk itself will feature in the final edit.

Abstract: In this paper, I will provide a discussion and solution for a phenomenon that has been left untouched by contemporary philosophical accounts of race: the understanding of groups in history. This paper is centrally concerned with retrospective description: the usage of contemporary racial terms as labels or classifications for historical phenomena. This paper seeks to provide an answer to the following question: under what circumstances is it correct to apply racial classifications to historical phenomena? My argument for the paper will be the following: that for the category race, the only way to have a successful and comprehensible way for correctly applying racial descriptions retrospectively is to take an instrumentalist approach – an approach that rejects using both biological realist accounts and social constructionist accounts as the bases for ascertaining whether a racial term has been correctly applied to past phenomena.

Michael Diamond-Hunter is an LSE Fellow in the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method.


17 November 2020
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Event Category:


Philosophy, Logic & Scientific Method


Online via Zoom