Philosophical analysis and social kinds


Authors
Sally Haslanger
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Jennifer Saul
University of Sheffield
Abstract
[Sally Haslanger] In debates over the existence and nature of social kinds such as 'race' and 'gender', philosophers often rely heavily on our intuitions about the nature of the kind. Following this strategy, philosophers often reject social constructionist analyses, suggesting that they change rather than capture the meaning of the kind terms. However, given that social constructionists are often trying to debunk our ordinary (and ideology-ridden?) understandings of social kinds, it is not surprising that their analyses are counterintuitive. This article argues that externalist insights from the critique of the analytic/synthetic distinction can be extended to justify social constructionist analyses. /// [Jennifer Saul] Sally Haslanger's 'What Good Are Our Intuitions? Philosophical Analysis and Social Kinds' is, among other things, a part of the theoretical underpinning for analyses of race and gender concepts that she discusses far more fully elsewhere. My reply focuses on these analyses of race and gender concepts, exploring the ways in which the theoretical work done in this paper and others can or cannot be used to defend these analyses against certain objections. I argue that the problems faced by Haslanger's analyses are in some ways less serious, and in some ways more serious, than they may at first appear. Along the way, I suggest that ordinary speakers may not in fact have race and gender concepts and I explore the ramifications of this claim.
Keywords ideology
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DOI 10.1111/j.0066-7373.2006.00128.x
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He/She/They/Ze.Robin Dembroff & Daniel Wodak - 2018 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 5.
Against the New Metaphysics of Race.David Ludwig - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (2):244-265.
Social Structures and the Ontology of Social Groups.Katherine Ritchie - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
Going Beyond the Fundamental: Feminism in Contemporary Metaphysics.Elizabeth Barnes - 2014 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 114 (3pt3):335-351.
What Is Social Construction?E. Diaz-Leon - 2015 - European Journal of Philosophy 23 (4):1137-1152.

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