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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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Language, Politics, and “The Folk”

Language, Politics, and “The Folk”

Looking for “The Meaning” of ‘Race’1

(p.429) 16 Language, Politics, and “The Folk”
Resisting Reality

Sally Haslanger

Oxford University Press

Much of the contemporary discussion of race employs a “semantic strategy” according to which one first determines the ordinary meaning of “race,” and then inquires whether there is anything in the world corresponding to that meaning (see Glasgow 2009, 12). Although some inquire into the meaning of “race” a priori and others empirically, the strategy seems to assume an internalist approach to meaning. The chapter favors an externalist approach to meaning. This chapter explains why, while also exploring how the “jazz model of meaning” (suggested by (Schroeter and Schroeter 2009; Schroeter and Bigelow 2009)) might be particularly useful for theorizing race and other social categories.

Keywords:   race, race eliminativism, race constructionism, social construction, semantics, meaning, concepts, conceptual analysis, methodology, feminism, anti-racism, critique, jazz model of meaning, externalism

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