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Categories We Live ByThe Construction of Sex, Gender, Race, and Other Social Categories$
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Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190256791

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190256791.001.0001

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The Conferralist Framework

The Conferralist Framework

(p.7) Chapter 1 The Conferralist Framework
Categories We Live By


Oxford University Press

In this chapter, the author offers a framework for conferralism about any property and then argues that social properties of individuals are conferred properties. Institutional and communal properties are distinguished, where institutional properties are conferred by someone (or something) having (deontic) authority and communal properties by someone (or something) with non-deontic standing. Institutional acts of conferring are acts of classifying individuals and communal acts are acts of placing individuals. The author compares acts of conferral to Austinean and Searlean speech acts such as verdictives, exercitives, and declarations. The author argues that conferralism is a better account of social properties of individuals than a constitution account such as John Searle’s and a response-dependence account. The use of the conferralist framework to account for other social properties is discussed.

Keywords:   conferred property, conferralism, social property, constitution, response-dependence, institutional property, communal property, classifying, placing, J.L. Austin, John Searle

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