A Philosophically Serious Comparison of the Ontologies of Race and Gender

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Title: A Philosophically Serious Comparison of the Ontologies of Race and Gender
Author: Zack, Naomi, 1944-
Abstract: Race and gender are not ontologically or epistemologically symmetrical. Ontologies of human races are more recent historical ideas than male-female taxonomies of gender, although ontologies of gender that include intersexuals, trans-sexuals and non-sexuals are new. Taxonomies of race rely on justification from the physical sciences, while taxonomies of gender have been more dependent on ordinary life. Current biological science does not support racial ontologies, although belief in biological race is recalcitrant. I explain this with criticism of “the new biology” of race as advanced by Michael Hardimon and Robin Andreasen in recent Journal of Philosophy articles that are related to a 1999 anthology article by Philip Kitcher. It is not necessary to have a biological notion of race to talk about or oppose racism. However, even politically viable racial identities could not address that rule by men through their gender constructions, which is violent and exploitative. But with gender, post intersectionality, it may be possible to revise men’s rule given a unifying relational definition of women, based on their history. Women are those human beings who are assigned to or identify with the disjunction of biological mothers or men’s heterosexual choices or females birth designees (category FMP). As FMP, women constitute over 50% of democratic electorates and we should look toward a gender change in the now hyper-masculine constructions of high politics, via global women’s political parties.
Description: A presentation to the Committee on the Status of Women, American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division Meeting, New York, Dec. 2005. Text also available at http://www.apa.udel.edu/apa/governance/committees/women/ 14 p.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1794/2419
Date: 2005-12

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