Contemporary Political Theory 5 (3):238-258 (2006)

Abstract
This paper examines the problem of natural kinds, a key problem within feminist theory, and argues for a non-instrumental realist account of group identity. I suggest that a reconstructed theory of essence helps to make sense of group membership because it combines a conventional account of groups with a realist commitment to there being something responsible for the appearance of regularities in the world. The claim that natural kind membership is a matter of similarity relationships manages to avoid metaphysical, universal property-based essentialism and, at the same time, points to interested generative mechanisms underlying the appearance of the regularities that make sense of kind membership. Finally, I suggest that the concepts 'real essence' and 'internal constitution' offer a new way to conceive 'sex' and 'gender', and that Adorno's notion of non-identity is a way to think group membership non-instrumentally
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DOI 10.1057/palgrave.cpt.9300258
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References found in this work BETA

Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1981 - Philosophy 56 (217):431-433.
Epistemology Naturalized.W. V. Quine - 1969 - In Ontological Relativity and Other Essays. New York: Columbia University Press.
Negative Dialectics.Raymond Geuss - 1975 - Journal of Philosophy 72 (6):167-175.
A Realist Theory of Science.Caroline Whitbeck - 1977 - Philosophical Review 86 (1):114.

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