Moral Constraints on Gender Concepts

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 23 (1):39-51 (2020)
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Abstract

Are words like ‘woman’ or ‘man’ sex terms that we use to talk about biological features of individuals? Are they gender terms that we use to talk about non-biological features e.g. social roles? Contextualists answer both questions affirmatively, arguing that these terms concern biological or non-biological features depending on context. I argue that a recent version of contextualism from Jennifer Saul that Esa Diaz-Leon develops doesn't exhibit the right kind of flexibility to capture our theoretical intuitions or moral and political practices concerning our uses of these words. I then float the view that terms like 'woman' or 'man' are polysemous, arguing that it makes better sense of the significance of some forms of criticisms of mainstream gender ideology.

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N. G. Laskowski
University of Maryland, College Park

References found in this work

Slaves of the passions.Mark Andrew Schroeder - 2007 - New York: Oxford University Press.
The meaning of 'meaning'.Hilary Putnam - 1975 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 7:131-193.
Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1980 - Philosophy 56 (217):431-433.
Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1980 - Critica 17 (49):69-71.

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