Sally Haslanger (//) is an American philosopher and professor. She is the Ford Professor of Philosophy in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She held the 2015 Spinoza Chair of Philosophy at the University of Amsterdam.
|Education||University of California, Berkeley (PhD)|
University of Virginia (MA)
Reed College (BA)
|Alma mater||University of California, Berkeley|
|Resisting Reality: Social Construction and Social Critique (2012)|
|Awards||Guggenheim Fellowship (2018)|
Carus Lecturer (2011)
SWIP Distinguished Woman Philosopher Award (2010)
|School||Analytic philosophy, feminist philosophy, critical theory, social constructionism|
|Institutions||Massachusetts Institute of Technology|
|Metaphysics, epistemology, feminist theory, political philosophy, critical race theory|
|Social construction of race and gender|
Having graduated from Reed College in 1977, Haslanger earned her Ph.D. in Philosophy in 1985 from the University of California, Berkeley. She has taught at Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania and University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Haslanger was selected as the 2011 Carus Lecturer by the American Philosophical Association. The Society for Women in Philosophy named her a 2010 Distinguished Woman Philosopher, citing her as one of the "best analytic feminists" in the United States. Haslanger was the president of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association and was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2015. In 2018, she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. She co-edits the Symposia on Gender, Race and Philosophy, an online publication for recent philosophical work on gender and race.
Haslanger has published in metaphysics, feminist metaphysics, epistemology, feminist theory, ancient philosophy, and social and political philosophy. She writes that much of her work has focused on persistence through change; objectivity and objectification; and Catharine MacKinnon's theory of gender. She has done work on the social construction of categories often considered to be natural kinds, particularly race and gender.[better source needed] A collection of her major papers on these topics appeared as Resisting Reality: Social Construction and Social Critique (Oxford University Press, 2012) which won the Joseph B. Gittler Award of the American Philosophical Association in 2014. This prize is given for an outstanding scholarly contribution in the field of the philosophy of one or more of the social sciences.
One of Haslanger's most influential notions is her analytic definition of 'woman'. Her definition is as follows:
S is a woman iffdf S is systematically subordinated along some dimension (economic, political, legal, social, etc.), and S is "marked" as a target for this treatment by observed or imagined bodily features presumed to be evidence of a female’s biological role in reproduction.
Criticisms have been made on the inclusion of trans women within the definition (Katharine Jenkins), and the possibility of the Queen of England not being considered a 'woman' by the definition (Mari Mikkola ).