After a brief summary of the 17 essays in Sally Haslanger’s (2012) collection, Resisting Reality: Social Construction and Social Critique, I raise questions in two areas, the defense of constructionism and the definition of gender and race in terms of social oppression. I cite Robin Andreasen’s and Philip Kitcher’s essays arguing (in different ways) that races are both biologically real and socially constructed, and also Joshua Glasgow’s claim that constructionist arguments ultimately fail. I then cite Jennifer Saul’s critique that “oppression” definitions of gender and race run into problematic counterexamples, and add some other points arising from the different histories of gender and racial categories and realities. As someone sympathetic to constructionism myself, my aim is not a critique of Haslanger but rather an inquiry as to how she thinks (we) constructionists should answer such challenges.
- Oppression definitions of race
- Sally Haslanger
- Social constructionism
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