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Resisting RealitySocial Construction and Social Critique$
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Sally Haslanger

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199892631

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199892631.001.0001

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What Good Are Our Intuitions?

What Good Are Our Intuitions?

Philosophical Analysis and Social Kinds

(p.381) 14 What Good Are Our Intuitions?
Resisting Reality

Sally Haslanger

Oxford University Press

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 chapter argues that externalist insights from the critique of the analytic/synthetic distinction can be extended to justify social constructionist analyses.

Keywords:   intuition, reflective equilibrium, philosophical method, race, gender, semantic externalism, social construction, ideology, social kind, natural kind

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