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ISally Haslanger: What Good are Our Intuitions?

Sally Haslanger
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8349.2006.00139.x 89-118 First published online: 1 June 2006

Abstract

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.

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