Evangelical Philosophical SocietyArticle Reprint

Transgenderism, Human Ontology, and the Metaphysics of Properties

by Benjamin H. Arbour and John R. Gilhooly

This paper argues that the narrative of transgenderism contains mutually inconsistent claims and therefore fails.

First, the denial of gender essentialism is inconsistent with anyone’s insistence that facts about people make it the case that either they have always been gendered in some respective way, or that they in fact belong to other genders than what were originally recognized.

Second, the argument that sex and gender come apart is inconsistent with the view that persons can be born into the wrong bodies; and attempts to bring bodies in line with trans people’s self-understood genders via gender reassignment surgery undermine the claim that gender and sex are not normatively related.

Third, the argument that gender is a social construct is inconsistent with the idea that society’s assignment of a person’s gender can be mistaken based on privileged information that an individual has.

Finally, the social promotion of self-identification as veridical is inconsistent on both major accounts of gender. Hence, transgenderism is mutually inconsistent with its own aims and claims.

The full-text of this paper is available for FREE by clicking here. The paper is part of an ongoing EPS web project focused on a Philosophy of Theological Anthropology. For more on this paper's theme, see the EPS web project's Philosophical Discussions on Marriage and Family Topics.


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