Contextualism and the Semantics of "Woman"

Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 7 (2020)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Contextualist accounts of “woman,” including Saul (2012), Diaz-Leon (2016), and Ichikawa (2020), aim to capture the variability of the meaning of the term, and do justice to the rights of trans women. I argue that (i) there is an internal tension between a contextualist stance and the commitment to trans-inclusive language, and that (ii) we should recognize and tackle the broader and deeper theoretical and practical difficulties implicit in the semantic debates, rather than collapsing them all into semantics. Moving on, I sketch three strategies to help us advance feminist philosophical endeavors, including how attending to contextual matters can lead us to further reflect on the meta-contextual, such as our role in shaping contexts and whether the working of language is indicative of a larger oppressive social structure.

Author's Profile

Hsiang-Yun Chen
Academia Sinica

Analytics

Added to PP
2022-01-24

Downloads
849 (#18,509)

6 months
183 (#18,975)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?