Social Philosophy

A Hermeneutic Approach to Gender and Other Social Identities by Lauren Swayne Barthold

By Lauren Swayne Barthold

 This e-book attracts at the hermeneutics of Hans-Georg Gadamer to notify a feminist point of view of social identities. Lauren Swayne Barthold strikes past solutions that both shield the target nature of identities or push aside their value altogether. construction at the paintings of either hermeneutic and non-hermeneutic feminist theorists of id, she asserts the relevance of innovations like horizon, coherence, discussion, play, program, and competition for constructing a concept of id. This quantity argues that as intersubjective interpretations, social identities are important methods of fostering that means and reference to others. Barthold additionally demonstrates how a hermeneutic method of social identities provides opinions of and resistance to identity-based oppression.  

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Extra resources for A Hermeneutic Approach to Gender and Other Social Identities

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Rather, I argue that realism (in its strong sense) proves epistemically and politically uninteresting and irrelevant for feminists. Thus I believe the crucial attack against realism comes from neither, in Haslanger’s terms, the skeptics (who assert that we cannot know whether there is a reality independent of us) nor the nominalists (who assert that all ways of dividing up reality depend on humans) but from what I will call the hermeneuts, who affirm that meaning—not “reality”—is the criterion of truth.

For example, it would seem as if Alcoff’s analysis has no way of addressing the following questions. Does the fact that one is white color every single knowledge claim one makes? Should it? Is there any way one can or should know the world apart from one’s whiteness? Should one seek to privilege another identity in certain situations, to diminish the effects of one’s whiteness? Should one be seen as white by others in every situation? Why or why not? In other words, she does not explain adequately whether, and indeed why, each of one’s visible identities should remain operative in every situation.

Our identities, like our epistemic horizons, are neither optional for knowledge nor static foundations. 4 In the meantime, however, let us examine the way in which Alcoff attempts to fortify the foregoing account of identity with an appeal to realism. HORIZONS 21 IDENTITY REALISM Alcoff’s hermeneutic approach refuses to undergird identity with a timeless or a priori essence and instead establishes it as socio-historically constitutive. 5 A politically viable theory requires a realist account of identity in order to account for the “real” way in which “people on the ground” utilize and respond to social identities (Alcoff 2009, 65).

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