Sally Haslanger

Sally Haslanger is Professor of Philosophy in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at MIT and is Director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program.

Haslanger works on the interaction between the natural and the social in the construction of categories.  The term ‘categories,’ as she uses it, is polyvocal; it is intended to capture, on the one hand, ways in which we represent and divide the world (language, concepts and such) and, on the other, things that are, or come to be, as we represent them (groups, kinds, and such).  The interaction between categories in these two senses is her central focus, especially with respect to contested categories such as race, gender, family, and disability.  This work on categories is in pursuit of a normative evaluation of practices relying on these categories, and resistance to unjust structures our practices create.

A feminist trained in analytic metaphysics, epistemology, and ancient philosophy (especially Aristotle), Haslanger’s work combines social ontology with normative social/political philosophy.  She has co-edited three books:  Adoption Matters: Philosophical and Feminist Essays with Charlotte Witt (Cornell University Press, 2005); Theorizing Feminisms with Elizabeth Hackett (Oxford University Press, 2005); and Persistence with Roxanne Marie Kurtz (MIT Press 2006). She is co-editor of the web-publication: Symposia on Gender, Race and Philosophy.

Before coming to MIT in 1998, Haslanger taught at the University of California-Irvine, Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Michigan.

For more information, visit Haslanger’s website.