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Gender and Gender Terms1

Noûs 54 (3):704-730 (2020)

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  1. Are Women Adult Human Females?Alex Byrne - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-21.
    Are women (simply) adult human females? Dictionaries suggest that they are. However, philosophers who have explicitly considered the question invariably answer no. This paper argues that they are wrong. The orthodox view is that the category *woman* is a social category, like the categories *widow* and *police officer*, although exactly what this social category consists in is a matter of considerable disagreement. In any event, orthodoxy has it that *woman* is definitely not a biological category, like the categories *amphibian* or (...)
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  • Being Perceived and Being “Seen”: Interpersonal Affordances, Agency, and Selfhood.Nick Brancazio - 2020 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
    Are interpersonal affordances a distinct type of affordance, and if so, what is it that differentiates them from other kinds of affordances? In this paper, I show that a hard distinction between interpersonal affordances and other affordances is warranted and ethically important. The enactivist theory of participatory sense-making demonstrates that there is a difference in coupling between agent-environment and agent-agent interactions, and these differences in coupling provide a basis for distinguishing between the perception of environmental and interpersonal affordances. Building further (...)
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  • Evaluating Arguments for the Sex/Gender Distinction.Tomas Bogardus - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (3):873-892.
    Many philosophers believe that our ordinary English words man and woman are “gender terms,” and gender is distinct from biological sex. That is, they believe womanhood and manhood are not defined even partly by biological sex. This sex/gender distinction is one of the most influential ideas of the twentieth century on the broader culture, both popular and academic. Less well known are the reasons to think it’s true. My interest in this paper is to show that, upon investigation, the arguments (...)
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  • Escaping the Natural Attitude About Gender.Robin Dembroff - 2020 - Philosophical Studies:1-21.
    Alex Byrne’s article, “Are Women Adult Human Females?”, asks a question that Byrne treats as nearly rhetorical. Byrne’s answer is, ‘clearly, yes’. Moreover, Byrne claims, 'woman' is a biological category that does not admit of any interpretation as (also) a social category. It is important to respond to Byrne’s argument, but mostly because it is paradigmatic of a wider phenomenon. The slogan “women are adult human females” is a political slogan championed by anti-trans activists, appearing on billboards, pamphlets, and anti-trans (...)
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  • Some Internal Problems with Revisionary Gender Concepts.Tomas Bogardus - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (1):55-75.
    Feminism has long grappled with its own demarcation problem—exactly what is it to be a woman?—and the rise of trans-inclusive feminism has made this problem more urgent. I will first consider Sally Haslanger’s “social and hierarchical” account of woman, resulting from “Ameliorative Inquiry”: she balances ordinary use of the term against the instrumental value of novel definitions in advancing the cause of feminism. Then, I will turn to Katharine Jenkins’ charge that Haslanger’s view suffers from an “Inclusion Problem”: it fails (...)
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  • Feminism Without Metaphysics or a Deflationary Account of Gender.Louise Antony - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (3):529-549.
    I argue for a deflationary answer to the question, “What is it to be a woman?” Prior attempts by feminist theorists to provide a metaphysical account of what all and only women have in common have all failed for the same reason: there is nothing women have in common beyond being women. Although the social kinds man and woman are primitive, their existence can be explained. I say that human sex difference is the material ground of systems of gender; gender (...)
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  • Gender Muddle: Reply to Dembroff.Alex Byrne - manuscript
    Dembroff’s “Escaping the natural attitude about gender” replies to my “Are women adult human females?”. This paper responds to Dembroff’s numerous criticisms of my arguments, as well as to the charge that “Are women...” is “fundamentally is an unscholarly attempt to vindicate a political slogan that is currently being used to undermine civic rights and respect for trans persons”. I argue that Dembroff’s criticisms fail without exception, and explain why the claims about my motives are baseless.
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  • Towards a Distinction Between Gender Identity and Gender Orientation.Avery Newman - unknown
    Gender identity is usually thought of in psychologistic terms. But thinking about gender identity in this way often undermines the political and social agencies of queer and trans individuals who rely on the concept the most. To ameliorate this problem, I argue that we should endorse a conceptual distinction between gender identity and what I call gender orientation. The former is an agent’s sincerely self-ascribed gender categorization, and the latter is an agent’s psychological relation to gendered social practices.
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  • Beyond Binary: Genderqueer as Critical Gender Kind.Robin Dembroff - 2020 - Philosophers' Imprint 20 (9):1-23.
    We want to know what gender is. But metaphysical approaches to this question solely have focused on the binary gender kinds men and women. By overlooking those who identify outside of the binary–the group I call ‘genderqueer’–we are left without tools for understanding these new and quickly growing gender identifications. This metaphysical gap in turn creates a conceptual lacuna that contributes to systematic misunderstanding of genderqueer persons. In this paper, I argue that to better understand genderqueer identities, we must recognize (...)
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  • He/She/They/Ze.Robin Dembroff & Daniel Wodak - 2018 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 5.
    In this paper, we defend two main claims. The first is a moderate claim: we have a negative duty to not use binary gender-specific pronouns he or she to refer to genderqueer individuals. We defend this with an argument by analogy. It was gravely wrong for Mark Latham to refer to Catherine McGregor, a transgender woman, using the pronoun he; we argue that such cases of misgendering are morally analogous to referring to Angel Haze, who identifies as genderqueer, as he (...)
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  • Quantum Mechanics and Metaphysical Indeterminacy.George Darby - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (2):227-245.
    There has been recent interest in formulating theories of non-representational indeterminacy. The aim of this paper is to clarify the relevance of quantum mechanics to this project. Quantum-mechanical examples of vague objects have been offered by various authors, displaying indeterminate identity, in the face of the famous Evans argument that such an idea is incoherent. It has also been suggested that the quantum-mechanical treatment of state-dependent properties exhibits metaphysical indeterminacy. In both cases it is important to consider the details of (...)
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