Cognitive Science Lunchtime Talk
Who counts as a woman? As black? As disabled? I argue that questions like these, which concern who counts as belonging to a social group, can come apart from questions about who we should count as group members. This is because true ascriptions of membership or non-membership in a social group can reinforce harmful practices concerning who we treat as group members. Call such ascriptions unethical truths. I develop a framework for understanding these unethical truths, and discuss its fruitfulness: it can motivate feminist and anti-racist projects in social ontology, and dissolve the puzzle of how to count the gender or race of someone who does not identify with the gender or with the race they were assigned at birth.