A crossdisciplinary exploration of essentialism about kinds: philosophical perspectives in feminism and the philosophy of biology

  • Author / Creator
    Weaver, Sara
  • “Essentialism about kinds” is the belief that there are necessary and sufficient conditions for membership in a kind. This thesis addresses the parallels in the discussions of essentialism across feminism and the philosophy of biology. Specifically, I address the similarities and differences between how feminists and philosophers of biology have thought about the errors of essentialism and why it should be rejected. As well, I discuss the alternative “solutions” that each discipline has proposed in its place. By way of conclusion, I side with the “epistemological approach” as the most successful solution to the essentialism of kinds in the context of feminism and philosophy of biology. I provide reasons for the superiority of this solution, and in particular, its wide applicability across disciplines. I also demonstrate how the crossdisciplinary dialogue in this thesis is a case in point of the interdisciplinary strength of the epistemological approach.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2011
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.