On Haslanger’s Meta-Metaphysics: Social Structures and Metaphysical Deflationism

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Abstract

The metaphysics of gender and race is a growing area of concern in contemporary analytic metaphysics, with many different views about the nature of gender and race being submitted and discussed. But what are these debates about? What questions are these accounts trying to answer? And is there real disagreement between advocates of differ- ent views about race or gender? If so, what are they really disagreeing about? In this paper I want to develop a view about what the debates in the metaphysics of gender and race are about, namely, a version of metaphysical deflationism, according to which these debates are about how we actually use or should use the terms ‘gender’ and ‘race’ (and other related terms), where moral and political considerations play a central role. I will also argue that my version of the view can overcome some recent and powerful objections to metaphysical deflationism of- fered by Elizabeth Barnes (2014, 2017).

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