Feminist Metaphysics - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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Essentialism and Anti-Essentialism in Feminist Theory

The feminist discussion of essentialism usually begins with a distinction between sex differences, which are the biological markers that distinguish females from males, and gender differences, which are the cultural or psychological features that distinguish women from men. Some feminists question the distinction between biology (or nature) and culture underlying the sex/gender distinction. They argue that there is cultural intervention in the production of two sexes from a more complex biological reality. In making this argument, they reject an essentialist account of sex because there are no biological features that demarcate human beings into just two kinds that correspond to female and male. See the discussion in Anne Fausto-Sterling (2000), and the essentialist account of sex differences by Linda Alcoff (2005). In addition, Sally Haslanger (2000) has argued that a major project of feminist metaphysics is the unmasking of putatively natural categories or properties...

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This section contains 3,286 words
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Buy the Feminist Metaphysics Encyclopedia Article
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Feminist Metaphysics from Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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