Seminaret i vitenskapsteori: The Selection and Intersection of Social Kinds
Theodore Bach, førsteamanuensis i filosofi ved Bowling Green State University, kommer til Seminaret i vitenskapsteori for å snakke om hva kjønn er - og en tredje vei hinsides biologisk essensialisme og sosialkonstruktivisme. Foredraget er åpent for alle interesserte.
Foredraget er del av en seminarrekke i regi av Seminaret i vitenskapsteori. Som alle foredrag i serien er også dette åpent for alle interesserte. Foredraget vil bli holdt på engelsk og varer fra 14.15 til 15.00. I pausen blir det servert kaffe og fra 15.15-16.00 åpnes det opp for spørsmål, kommentarer og diskusjon.
The Selection and Intersection of Social Kinds
Are race and gender natural kinds? Is there an essential property for a race or a gender that an individual must exemplify in order to be represented politically as a member of a particular race or gender? Researchers who attempt to answer these questions find themselves in a dilemma. On the one hand, proposals that define the boundaries and membership conditions for a race or a gender run the risk of excluding prima facie members of the target group as well as theorizing social inequalities as fixed or necessary. On the other hand, proposals that reject a realist ontology for gender and race make the political representation of marginalized groups difficult and perhaps incoherent. For such views, it is not clear how to articulate an anti-racist and anti-sexist political agenda if race and gender are, in some metaphysically important sense, not real.
In my talk I resource recent advances in naturalized ontology and naturalized philosophy of science in order to sketch a solution to this dilemma. I argue that social kinds have the same abstract ontological structure – they are natural kinds with historical essences – as biological kinds. While the copying and selective processes that construct biological historical kinds are genetic and natural, the copying processes that construct social historical kinds are cultural. On this view, gender and race are just as real as four-chambered hearts and Homo sapiens. At the same time, this ontological framework construes social kinds as mutable, inclusive, and not essentially hierarchical. Focusing on gender, my talk will explore a number of implications of the view that men and women are natural kinds with historical essences. Particular emphasis will be given to the teleofunctional status of gender as well as the intersectionality of social kinds.
The full paper can be dowloaded here.
Theodore Bach is currently assistant professor of philosophy at Bowling Green State University Firelands College. He received his Ph.D from the University of Connecticut in August 2010. His research focuses on several topics in the philosophy of psychology including analogical cognition, mental simulation, and pretense. He also researches the status of natural kinds, particularly with respect to the social sciences. Recent publications include “Structure-Mapping: Directions from Simulation to Theory” in Philosophical Psychology, “Gender is a Natural Kind with a Historical Essence,” in Ethics, and "Analogical Cognition: Applications in Epistemology and the Philosophy of Mind and Language," in Philosophy Compass.