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How Can Philosophy Help Us Understand Transgender Experiences?

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The current transgender debate polarizes Western societies like no other. Most strikingly, it divides some of the most vulnerable minorities – radical feminists and lesbian rights activists, and transgender activists. The Institute of Art and Ideas values dialogue and plurality. That is why we asked a range of thinkers, on different sides of the debate, to express their views on what philosophy needs to do to help us all better understand the transgender experience. ___Robin Dembroff___Robin Dembroff is Assistant Professor at Yale University. Their research focuses on feminist philosophy and metaphysics, with a particular emphasis on the social construction of gender and sexual orientation.People take gender categories and norms for granted. We see someone and reflexively judge their gender. We don’t reflect on how gender constricts our choices and behaviour. But philosophy teaches us to question our personal perspectives and cultural assumptions. Once we put these to the test, we begi...

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