Skip to main content
Browse by:

tgiFHI: Ásta, "Critical Social Metaphysics: Metaphysics for Liberation and Social Science"

tgiFHI is a weekly series that gives Duke faculty in the humanities, interpretive social sciences and arts the opportunity to present their current research to their departmental and interdepartmental colleagues, students, and other interlocutors in their fields.

tgiFHI events take place from 9:00-11:00 a.m. on Friday mornings in the Ahmadieh Family Lecture Hall (C105, Bay 4, Smith Warehouse). Breakfast is served at 9 am and the lecture begins promptly at 9:30 am.

Abstract - There has been considerable new work on the metaphysics of sex and gender, race, sexuality, and disability. The methodology employed in this work varies considerably. In this essay I advocate for a certain conception of doing social metaphysics. This conception involves a descriptive task and a critical task; it requires that we always keep in mind what we want the theory for; and it involves meeting certain epistemic and ethical demands. I conclude by discussing some ways in which social metaphysics of this kind can support political activism and policy making, as well as research in the social sciences.

Bio: Ásta is Professor of Philosophy here at Duke and works primarily at the intersection of metaphysics, feminist philosophy, and social philosophy. She is the author of Categories We Live By: The Construction of Sex, Gender, Race, and Other Social Categories (Oxford 2018) and numerous articles in academic journals, as well as co-editor, with Kim Q. Hall, of The Oxford Handbook of Feminist Philosophy.

For more information see

RSVP for the in-person event at