This is a course on the metaphysics of social reality. We will examine contemporary problems to do with sex, gender and race through the lenses of analytic metaphysics. We will also take a closer look at the theories of metaphysics on which some of these social issues hang. Some of the questions addressed in this course include, Are there essential male and female characteristics? These days it is possible to be transexual, but is it possible to be trans-racial? Can we be essentialists about any social kinds? Does anything in the world even have essential properties? If so, how can we tell?
Assessment: Coursework only
For full course information see the Digital Course Outline.
Digital Course Outlines are refreshed in November for the following year. Digital Course Outlines for courses to be offered for the first time may be published slightly later.
Not taught in 2024
PHIL 740: 15 points