In his recent article Race: a social destruction of a biological concept, Sesardic argues that social constructionists have been ‘refuting’ a straw-man characterisation of racial naturalism, the view that ‘race’ is a legitimate biological category (Sesardic, 2010). Social constructionists have burdened the concept of race, he claims, with clearly unacceptable essentialist connotations; all with the aim of dismissing it outright. In light of the modern synthesis, with its rejection of species essentialism, we are committed to the rejection of racial essentialism. The task for race naturalists, then, is to develop a “biologically informed but non-essentialist concept of race” (Sesardic, 2010, p. 146).
But what are race naturalists made of, if not straw?