A Solidaristic Approach to the Existence and Persistence of Social Kinds


In this paper, I outline a theory of social kinds. A general theory of social kinds has to set out at least three conditions: existence conditions, persistence conditions, and identity conditions. For the sake of expediency, I focus on the existence and persistence conditions. The paper is organized just as life: first with existence, then persistence. I argue that anti-realism is more attractive than realism as an account of the existence conditions, despite the fact that realism has been under-appreciated. Then I argue for a particular theory of the persistence conditions, which I call the basic overlapping traits theory (BOTT), based on an analogy to an approach to personal identity. The upshot of the argument is that from an anti-realist metaphysics we have the capacity to discuss a wider diversity of social phenomena.

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