Skip to main content

Phila Msimang

Phila Msimang is a lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at Stellenbosch University. His research interests include the philosophy of science, the metaphysics of race, and theories of minimal cognition. He is presently working with various research groups on the problems of race and is a PhD candidate at Macquarie University. His most recent publications deal with the significance of population history to the human sciences and the uses and abuses of racial classifications in social and scientific settings.

Selected publications

Book chapters
  • 2021. Social races in biomedical settings. In Ludovica Lorusso and Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther (eds) Remapping Race. Routledge. (HTML)
  • 2021. Revisiting the question of race and biology in the South African social sciences. In David Ludwig, Inkeri Koskinen, Zinhle Mncube, Luana Poliseli, Luis Reyes-Galindo (eds) Global Epistemologies and Philosophies of Science. Routledge. (HTML)


Journal articles
  • 2022. The IRR as false witness: how the Institute of Race Relations strategically misinforms us about race and policy (as a threat to deliberative democracy). Theoria: A Journal of Social and Political Theory 172 (2), 1–31. (HTML)
  • 2022. What is race? Four philosophers, six views. Philosophical Papers 51 (1), 115–145. (HTML)
  • 2020. Medicine, anti-realism, and ideology: variation in medical genetics does not show that race is biologically real. Northern European Journal of Philosophy 20 (2), 117–140. (HTML)
  • 2019. Racializing races: the racialized groups of interactive constructionism do not undermine social theories of race. Ergo 6 (1), 1–30. (HTML)
  • 2015. Problems with the physical in physicalism. South African Journal of Philosophy 34 (3), 336–345. (HTML)​


A full list of Msimang’s publications can be found on Researc​hGate​ and Google Scholar.


  • Philosophy 214: Subdisciplines in Philosophy I (Modern Epistemology)
  • Philosophy 345: Analytic Philosophy (Philosophy of Mind)


  • Honours coursework and supervision
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Ethics
  • MPhil in Applied Ethics
  • MA coursework and supervision