Authors
Robin Dembroff
Yale University
Catharine (Cat) Saint-Croix
University of Minnesota
Abstract
What’s important about ‘coming out’? Why do we wear business suits or Star Trek pins? Part of the answer, we think, has to do with what we call agential identity. Social metaphysics has given us tools for understanding what it is to be socially positioned as a member of a particular group and what it means to self-identify with a group. But there is little exploration of the general relationship between self-identity and social position. We take up this exploration, developing an account of agential identity—the self-identities we make available to others. Agential identities are the bridge between what we take ourselves to be and what others take us to be. Understanding agential identity not only fills an important gap in the literature, but also helps us explain politically important phenomena concerning discrimination, malicious identities, passing, and code-switching. These phenomena, we argue, cannot be understood solely in terms of self-identity or social position.
Keywords Metaphysics  Feminist Philosophy  Sex, Gender, and Sexuality  Discrimination  Social Ontology
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Reprint years 2019
DOI 10.3998/ergo.12405314.0006.020
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References found in this work BETA

Mortal Questions.Thomas Nagel - 1979 - Cambridge University Press.
What is a (Social) Structural Explanation?Sally Haslanger - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (1):113-130.
Real Talk on the Metaphysics of Gender.Robin Dembroff - 2018 - Philosophical Topics 46 (2):21-50.

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