Categories We Do Not Know We Live By
Keywords:conferralism, class, opaque kinds of social facts, Asta, Muhammad Ali Khalidi, paradigmatic cases
I argue that a central claim of Ásta’s conferralist framework – that it can account for all social properties of individuals – is false, by drawing attention to (opaque) class. I then discuss an implication of this objection; conferralism does not meet its own conditions of adequacy, such as providing a theory that helps to understand oppression. My diagnosis is that this objection points to a methodological problem: Ásta and other social ontologists have been fed on a “one-sided diet” of types of examples, resulting in a limited view of the paradigmatic social phenomena, thus making conferralism too narrow to fulfill its intended role.
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