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The Wrong of InjusticeDehumanization and its Role in Feminist Philosophy$
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Mari Mikkola

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190601072

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190601072.001.0001

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Deflating the Puzzles

Deflating the Puzzles

Chapter:
(p.104) 5 Deflating the Puzzles
Source:
The Wrong of Injustice
Author(s):

Mari Mikkola

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190601072.003.0005

Earlier chapters argued that influential attempts to understand gendered social kinds fail by their own lights. This chapter undertakes a more radical critique: that we can deflate semantic puzzles about the content of gender concepts, along with ontological puzzles about the nature of gendered social kinds. Other feminist positions considered are aiming to resolve these worries; this chapter argues instead that the puzzles are not as pressing as feminists make them out to be. First, we can talk about women without providing a thick articulation of woman with the help of certain intuitions termed “extensional.” Second, feminists can understand the phenomena usually discussed under the rubric of the sex/gender distinction in a way that avoids certain unintuitive and undesirable ontological implications. This is done with the help of an alternative ontological picture developed in the chapter and termed the “trait/norm covariance model.”

Keywords:   gender terminology, sex/gender distinction, linguistic intuitions, trait/norm covariance model

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