Event Detail

Thu Apr 26, 2018
Howison Library , 4–6 PM
Philosophy Colloquium
Laura Franklin-Hall (NYU)
The Animal Sexes as Queer Kinds

Though biologists identify individuals as ‘male’ and ‘female’ across a broad range of animal species, the particular traits exhibited by males and females can vary tremendously. This diversity has led some to conclude that cross-animal sexes (males, or females, of whatever animal species) have “little or no explanatory power”(Dupré 1986: 447) and, thus, are not natural kinds in any substantive sense. This essay will explore considerations for and against this conclusion, ultimately arguing that animal sexes are instances of type-historical kinds: groupings that, rather uniquely, can be scientifically significant even while their members differ in both their current properties and their particular histories.