Haslanger's Argument Analysis

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In order to tease apart the puzzle, Haslanger defines possible meanings of "should believe" (Haslanger, 73-74). There are two senses of "should believe" involved in this puzzle. There is an epistemic "should believe", where one should believe something because it is the truth; and, there is a moral "should believe", where one should not believe something because of moral reasons (Haslanger, 73-74). Haslanger argues that once these two senses of "should believe" are distinguished, the puzzle disappears (Haslanger, 74). So, with regard to the seventh grader, she should believe that crop-tops are cute in the epistemic sense; however, she should not believe that they are cute in the moral sense because morally speaking, her belief harms other women …show more content…
It seems that Haslanger neglects natural dispositions of humans in her argument. She does not give any credit to what a person is born with and only considers what they are exposed to in social settings as important to shaping their beliefs and actions. It seems intuitive to say that there are more social factors that act on a person's beliefs than their natural dispositions and instincts, but this observation is flawed. We can only really examine the social aspect of our lives because it is what is actually examinable. Due to the fact that it is extremely difficult to examine our natural dispositions independent of social influences, we do not know whether our dispositions hold any weight or not. Our natural dispositions should be important because they are what make us different from someone else of the same social group. We are not identical copies of each other just because we are exposed to and experience the same things. Some humans can have the dispositions to be racist or sexist, just as some humans can have the disposition to gamble, to be emotionally unstable, to be sick, to be a serial killer, to be a kindergarten teacher, etc. Those who are born with certain dispositions will not suddenly respond to their …show more content…
This is because everything we can see is social and how we classify people and things are social. The majority of who we are is socially constructed. People are not born racist or sexist. It is not within a person's genetics to have racist or sexist attitudes. These attitudes are acquired later in life when exposed to stereotypes, prejudice, bias, and the like. Therefore, Haslanger would want to say that a person's nature and dispositions has nothing to do with whether they are racist/sexist or not because everything lies within the social world. Those who are indeed racist or sexist and believe that they are not wrong live under a false consciousness as more dominate groups would be influencing what you believe in and be pushing you to act in ways that are against your own interests, but you do not realize

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