Rachel K. Cooper

Mellon Faculty Fellow
University of California, Irvine

Works in Progress

Social Kind*: Joint Intentional Mechanistic Kind (Major revisions at Philosophical Studies)

Abstract: The goal of the debunking social constructionist is to reveal as social kinds that are widely held to be natural (or, in some cases, to reveal as more deeply social kinds that are already widely recognized to be social). The prominent approach to such debunking has been to make a case for thinking that the individuation conditions for membership in the kinds in question are in fact social (or are in fact more deeply social than has previously been recognized). In this paper, I argue that adopting the prominent approach to debunking prevents one from answering the implicit question being posed by the debunker, namely, the question of how a plausibly constitutively socially constructed kind can come to appear more natural than it in fact is. I then sketch an alternative way of understanding the notion of a social kind that enables us to answer the appearance question while remaining neutral on the nature of social kinds.

An Explanatory Critique of Social Positional Accounts of the Metaphysics of Social Categories

The Viability of Critical Anti-Realism for Debunking Social Constructionists

On Grounding Social Phenomena

Unjust Joint Commitments and How to Change Them