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Phila Msimang

Phila Msimang is a lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at Stellenbosch University. His research interests include the philosophy of science, theories of minimal cognition, and the metaphysics of race. 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)
  • 2015. Problems with the physical in physicalism. South African Journal of Philosophy 34 (3), 336–345. (HTML)​


Scientific communications
  • (forthcoming). What is the biological profile of ‘the’ South African?
  • 2022. That only the elite should have children is a worrying argument. South African Journal of Bioethics & Law 15 (1), 6–7. (HTML); Don’t shy away from the elitist implications of your argument: Response to de Roubaix. South African Journal of Bioethics & Law 15 (2), 42–43. (HTML)


A more comprehensive list of Msimang’s academic publications can be found on Google Scholar. These publications are available for download on Researc​hGate​.


  • 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