Quayshawn Spencer, author and Robert S. Blank Presidential Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania will deliver this year's Warren Steinkraus Lecture on Human Ideals via Zoom at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 4.

His presentation is titled “A Metaphysical Mapping Problem for Race Theorists and Human Population Geneticists.”

Spencer is one of four authors credited in the 2019 book “What Is Race? Four Political Views,” and has written a multitude of articles addressing race issues  that include “A More Radical Solution to the Race Problem,” “A Racial Classification for Medical Genetics” and “Racial Realism II: Are Folk Races Real?”

Spencer specializes in the philosophies of science, biology and race. 

“In philosophy of science, I primarily focus on metaphysical problems in science, such as what is an appropriate way to define ‘natural kinds,’" Spencer explained. “In philosophy of biology, I primarily focus on metaphysical problems in biology, such as whether biological populations can have fuzzy temporal parts and whether there is any way to group organisms into biologically real subspecies.  In philosophy of race, you guessed it, I primarily focus on metaphysical problems in race theory, such as whether any folk racial classification divides people into real biological groups.”

Spencer’s decorated academic record includes a Ph.D. in philosophy and a master’s in biology, both from Stanford University, and bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and philosophy from Cornell.  

The SUNY Oswego philosophy department’s annual free lecture series has honored Warren Steinkraus since 1988. The late Oswego professor was co-founder of numerous philosophical societies. He was also an associate editor of the philosophy journal Idealistic Studies. Steinkraus, who died in 1990, consistently demonstrated genuine commitment to ideals such as equality, peace, nonviolence and aesthetic quality.

Use this link on Nov. 4 to access his Zoom presentation.

The Oswego College Foundation manages a fund supporting the lecture series, thanks to donations from many friends of Steinkraus and his family.

-- Written by Braylon Noble of the Class of 2021