Philosophy and Social Criticism 29 (6):655-680 (2003)

José Medina
Vanderbilt University
This paper uses the conceptual apparatus of Wittgenstein’s later philosophy to tackle a foundational issue in the philosophical literature on group identity, namely, the problem of difference. This problem suggests that any appeal to a collective identity is oppressive because it imposes a shared identity on the members of a group and suppresses the internal differences of the group. I develop a Wittgensteinian view of identity that dissolves this problem by showing the conceptual confusions on which it rests. My Wittgensteinian view of identity tries to establish two main theses: first, that identity is bound up with difference and presupposes heterogeneity; and second, that the solidarity of identity groups, far from being obstructed by differences, actually requires diversity. Drawing from gender and sexuality studies, I use the mechanism of disidentification to show how there can be shared identities and identity-based solidarity without the erasure of differences. Key Words: community • difference • ethnicity • familial view • gender • identity • race • sexuality • solidarity • Wittgenstein.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1177/0191453703296002
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 65,657
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Epistemic Injustice: A Role for Recognition?Paul Giladi - 2018 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 44 (2):141-158.
The Agent in Pain: Alienation and Discursive Abuse.Paul Giladi - 2020 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 28 (5):692-712.

View all 14 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Identifying the Problem of Personal Identity.Ned Markosian - 2010 - In Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O'Rourke & Harry Silverstein (eds.), Time and Identity. MIT Press. pp. 129.
Encyclopedia of Identity.Ronald L. Jackson (ed.) - 2010 - Sage Publications.
Wittgensteinian Predicate Logic.Kai F. Wehmeier - 2004 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 45 (1):1-11.
Does the Non-Identity Problem Block a Class of Arguments Against Cloning?Richard Greene - 2004 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 18 (1):95-101.


Added to PP index

Total views
148 ( #74,432 of 2,462,335 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #223,344 of 2,462,335 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes