The metaphysics of intersectionality

Philosophical Studies 177 (2):321-335 (2020)
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Abstract

This paper develops and articulates a metaphysics of intersectionality, the idea that multiple axes of social oppression cross-cut each other. Though intersectionality is often described through metaphor, theories of intersectionality can be formulated using the tools of contemporary analytic metaphysics. A central tenet of intersectionality theory, that intersectional identities are inseparable, can be framed in terms of explanatory unity. Further, intersectionality is best understood as metaphysical and explanatory priority of the intersectional category over its constituents, akin to metaphysical priority of the whole over its parts.

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Sara Bernstein
University of Notre Dame

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