Social construction and meta-ground (Asya Passinsky)

The Logic and Metaphysics Workshop will meet on April 8th from 4:15-6:15 in-person at the Graduate Center (Room 7395) for a talk by Asya Passinsky (CEU).

Title: Social construction and meta-ground

Abstract: The notion of social construction plays an important role in many areas of social philosophy, including the philosophy of gender, the philosophy of race, and social ontology. But it is far from clear how this notion (or cluster of notions) is to be understood. One promising proposal, which has been championed in recent years by Aaron Griffith (2017, 2018) and Jonathan Schaffer (2017), is that the notion of constitutive social construction may be analyzed in terms of the notion of metaphysical grounding. In this paper, I argue that a simple ground-theoretic analysis of social construction is subject to two sorts of problem cases and that existing ground-theoretic accounts do not avoid these problems. I then develop a novel ground-theoretic account of social construction in terms of meta-ground, and I argue that it avoids the problems. The core idea of the account is that in cases of social construction, the meta-ground of the relevant grounding fact includes a suitable connective social fact.

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