Notes from the resistance: some comments on Sally Haslanger’s Resisting Reality

Charles W. Mills*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-97
Number of pages13
JournalPhilosophical Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 2014


  • Oppression definitions of race
  • Race
  • Sally Haslanger
  • Social constructionism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


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