Science Fiction Double Feature: Trans Liberation on Twin Earth

Abstract

What is it to be a woman? What is it to be a man? We start by laying out desiderata for an analysis of 'woman' and 'man': descriptively, it should link these gender categories to sex biology without reducing them to sex biology, and politically, it should help us explain and combat traditional sexism while also allowing us to make sense of the activist view that gendering should be consensual. Using a Putnam-style 'Twin Earth' example, we argue that none of the existing analyses in the feminist literature succeeds in meeting all of our desiderata. Finally, we propose a positive account that we believe can satisfy all the desiderata outlined. According to our theory, the genders 'woman' and 'man' are individuated not by their contemporary connections to sex biology, but by their historical continuity with classes that were originally closely connected to sex biology.

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Author Profiles

Rachael Briggs
Australian National University
B. R. George
Carnegie Mellon University

References found in this work

Meaning and reference.Hilary Putnam - 1973 - Journal of Philosophy 70 (19):699-711.
Meaning and Reference.Hilary Putnam - 1973 - In Robert B. Talisse & Scott F. Aikin (eds.), The Pragmatism Reader: From Peirce Through the Present. Princeton University Press. pp. 299-308.

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