Social construction as grounding; or: fundamentality for feminists, a reply to Barnes and Mikkola

Philosophical Studies 174 (10):2449-2465 (2017)
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Abstract

Feminist metaphysics is guided by the insight that gender is socially constructed, yet the metaphysics behind social construction remains obscure. Barnes and Mikkola charge that current metaphysical frameworks—including my grounding framework—are hostile to feminist metaphysics. I argue that not only is a grounding framework hospitable to feminist metaphysics, but also that a grounding framework can help shed light on the metaphysics behind social construction. By treating social construction claims as grounding claims, the feminist metaphysician and the social ontologist both gain a way to integrate social construction claims into a general metaphysics, while accounting for the inferential connections between social construction and attendant notions such as dependence and explanation. So I conclude that a grounding framework can be helpful for feminist metaphysics and social ontology.

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Jonathan Schaffer
Rutgers University - New Brunswick

Citations of this work

Metaphysical grounding.Ricki Bliss & Kelly Trogdon - 2021 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
The metaphysics of intersectionality.Sara Bernstein - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (2):321-335.
Anchoring as Grounding: On Epstein’s the Ant Trap.Jonathan Schaffer - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (3):749-767.
Social Construction and Grounding.Aaron M. Griffith - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (2):393-409.

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