Substantivity in feminist metaphysics

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22 Scopus citations


Elizabeth Barnes and Mari Mikkola raise the important question of whether certain recent approaches to metaphysics exclude feminist metaphysics. My own approach (from my book Writing the Book of the World) does not, or so I argue. I do define “substantive” questions in terms of fundamentality; and the concepts of feminist metaphysics (and social metaphysics generally) are nonfundamental. But my definition does not count a question as being nonsubstantive simply because it involves nonfundamental concepts. Questions about the causal structure of the world, including the causal structure of the social world, are generally substantive because their answers are not sensitive to any alternate, equally good conceptual choices we could have made. I also argue that such questions are substantive regardless of the ontology of social kinds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2467-2478
Number of pages12
JournalPhilosophical Studies
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy


  • Feminist metaphysics
  • Haslanger
  • Metametaphysics
  • Social metaphysics
  • Social ontology
  • Substantivity


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