What Good Are Our Intuitions?

Sally Haslanger

in Resisting Reality

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199892631
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980055 | DOI:
What Good Are Our Intuitions?

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In debates over the existence and nature of social kinds such as “race” and “gender”, philosophers often rely heavily on our intuitions about the nature of the kind. Following this strategy, philosophers often reject social constructionist analyses, suggesting that they change rather than capture the meaning of the kind terms. However, given that social constructionists are often trying to debunk our ordinary (and ideology ridden?) understandings of social kinds, it is not surprising that their analyses are counterintuitive. This chapter argues that externalist insights from the critique of the analytic/synthetic distinction can be extended to justify social constructionist analyses.

Keywords: intuition; reflective equilibrium; philosophical method; race; gender; semantic externalism; social construction; ideology; social kind; natural kind

Chapter.  12270 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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