Social construction: big-G grounding, small-g realization

Philosophical Studies 175 (1):241-260 (2018)
Aaron Griffith
College of William and Mary
The goal of this paper is to make headway on a metaphysics of social construction. In recent work, I’ve argued that social construction should be understood in terms of metaphysical grounding. However, I agree with grounding skeptics like Wilson that bare claims about what grounds what are insufficient for capturing, with fine enough grain, metaphysical dependence structures. To that end, I develop a view on which the social construction of human social kinds is a kind of realization relation. Social kinds, I argue, are multiply realizable kinds. I depart from the Wilson by further arguing that an appeal to grounding is not otiose when it comes to social construction. Social construction, I claim, belongs to the “big-G” Grounding genus, but it is the specific “small-g” relation of realization at work in cases of human kind social construction.
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-017-0865-x
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References found in this work BETA

Grounding: Toward a Theory of the In-Virtue-Of Relation.Paul Audi - 2012 - Journal of Philosophy 109 (12):685-711.
Against Grounding Necessitarianism.Alexander Skiles - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (4):717-751.
Grounding in the Image of Causation.Jonathan Schaffer - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (1):49-100.
Construction Area (No Hard Hat Required).Karen Bennett - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 154 (1):79-104.
The Question of Realism.Kit Fine - 2001 - Philosophers' Imprint 1:1-30.

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