Review of Sally Haslanger, Resisting Reality: Social construction and social critique [Book Review]

Ethics 124 (3):612-617 (2014)
Abstract
There has been a significant amount of research, from a variety of disciplines, targeting the nature and political status of human categories such as woman, man, Black, and Latino. The result is a tangle of concepts and distinctions that often obscure more than clarify the subject matter. This incentivizes the creation of fresh terms and distinctions that might disentangle the old, but too often these efforts just add to the snarl. The process iterates, miscommunication becomes standard, and insufficiently vetted concepts can gain central theoretical status. Over the last two decades, Sally Haslanger ’s work in this area – conveniently consolidated in the volume “Resisting Reality: Social construction and social critique” – has been a much needed corrective to this process; Haslanger ’s terms and distinctions really do disentangle. This review organizes and explicates central themes from Haslanger ’s volume. It then offers some critical comments, arguing that some of Haslanger ’s distinctions and proposals are less successful than others
Keywords Social Construction  Gender  Race  Haslanger  Natural Kind  Feminism
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