Graduate studies at Western
Ethics 122 (2):231-272 (2012)
|Abstract||Traditional debate on the metaphysics of gender has been a contrast of essentialist and social-constructionist positions. The standard reaction to this opposition is that neither position alone has the theoretical resources required to satisfy an equitable politics. This has caused a number of theorists to suggest ways in which gender is unified on the basis of social rather than biological characteristics but is “real” or “objective” nonetheless – a position I term social objectivism. This essay begins by making explicit the motivations for, and central assumptions of, social objectivism. I then propose that gender is better understood as a real kind with a historical essence, analogous to the biologist’s claim that species are historical entities. I argue that this proposal achieves a better solution to the problems that motivate social objectivism. Moreover, the account is consistent with a post-positivist understanding of the classificatory practices employed within the natural and social sciences.|
|Keywords||Gender Natural Kind Historical Kind Function Teleological Function Millikan Haslanger Social Construction|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Ron Mallon (2004). Passing, Traveling and Reality: Social Constructionism and the Metaphysics of Race. Noûs 38 (4):644–673.
Charlotte Witt (forthcoming). What Is Gender Essentialism? Feminist Metaphysics:11--25.
Marla Morton-Brown (2004). Artificial Ef-Femination. Philosophy in the Contemporary World 11 (1):27-34.
Mohan Matthen (forthcoming). Millikan's Historical Kinds. In Justine Kingsbury, Dan Ryder & Kenneth Williford (eds.), Ruth Millikan and her Critics.
Joseph Millum (2008). A Biological Alternative to Moral Explanations. Southern Journal of Philosophy 46 (3):385-407.
Nathan Placencia (2010). Am I Who I Say I Am? Social Identities and Identification. Social Theory and Practice 36 (4):643-660.
Asa Maria Wikforss (2005). Naming Natural Kinds. Synthese 145 (1):65-87.
Sally Haslanger (2006). What Good Are Our Intuitions? Philosophical Analysis and Social Kinds. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 80 (1):89-118.
Quayshawn Spencer (2012). What 'Biological Racial Realism' Should Mean. Philosophical Studies 159 (2):181-204.
Derek Dalton & Marc Ortegren (2011). Gender Differences in Ethics Research: The Importance of Controlling for the Social Desirability Response Bias. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 103 (1):73-93.
Nigel Sabbarton-Leary (2010). Descriptivist Reference From Metaphysical Essence. Dialectica 64 (3):419-433.
Added to index2012-01-06
Total downloads118 ( #5,654 of 741,243 )
Recent downloads (6 months)19 ( #6,781 of 741,243 )
How can I increase my downloads?