What are we talking about? The semantics and politics of social kinds

Hypatia 20 (4):10-26 (2005)
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Abstract
Theorists analyzing the concepts of race and gender disagree over whether the terms refer to natural kinds, social kinds, or nothing at all. The question arises: what do we mean by the terms? It is usually assumed that ordinary intuitions of native speakers are definitive. However, I argue that contemporary semantic externalism can usefully combine with insights from Foucauldian genealogy to challenge mainstream methods of analysis and lend credibility to social constructionist projects.
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2005
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Archival date: 2016-11-02
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2009-01-28

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