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Lived Gender and Identity

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Michael Wilby.

According to essentialists such as Germaine Greer, gender identity is a question of biology; according to social constructivists like Judith Butler, it is a matter of performance. Julia Serano has argued that gender identity incorporates both ‘intrinsic’ biological and ‘extrinsic’ social factors. In this talk, we consider these views and alternatively propose an enactivist view of gender—which we call lived gender—whereby living life as a woman (or man), and presenting and acting (not performing) accordingly, can be sufficient to qualify as a woman (or man). We explain and defend our position with some help and inspiration from Wittgenstein’s approach to concepts and their relation to forms of life.

This talk is part of the Philosophy of Identity - Royal Institute of Philosophy Public Lectures at Anglia Ruskin University series.

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