Is species a social construction in the same way race and gender can be described as such?

The question was whether species are a social construction IN THE SAME WAY as race and gender.

That's what you've decided the question is now, yes. Originally the question was whether species are socially constructed. You suggested no. Later, you changed your answer to yes, and now you're trying to attack me for disagreeing with that latter answer by suggesting I argued that species are constructed IN THE SAME WAY as races and genders are. I don't think I ever said that, because I don't even know what that means. But in any case that was not the argument we were having at the beginning, I think. You have already given up that original argument, as near as I can tell. Except:

A second point is that all of the philosophical and scientific uncertainty we call the "species problem" has little to do with the process of social construction whereby race and gender categories are constructed.

I think perhaps you are taking us back in time to your very first post? Again it's hard for me to tell. Sometimes it seems like you're happy to admit that species are socially constructed, but IN A DIFFERENT WAY than race and gender are. Other times it seems like you want to deny that species are socially constructed at all

The former claim, to the extent that I understand what you mean, is fine: race and gender aren't even constructed in the same way, so it would be very surprising if species were constructed in the same way race and gender are. This would be like saying a house built out of bricks is built in the same way as a house built out of straw and a house built out of mud. Not even those latter two houses are built in the same way!

The latter claim seems more suspect. But I am not sure whether you even want to defend the latter claim. It seems like the one you started out defending, but you've also vehemently disclaimed it, I think.

Do you think Protoclown98 was agreeing with you?

I don't think /u/Protoclown98's comment agreed or disagreed with me. The comment just pointed out that there are real biological differences between species, which is of course true, since there are real biological differences between any groups of living things categorized on any basis. There are real biological differences between races, for instance, and real biological differences between genders. If we decide tomorrow that all Africans are white people that won't change their skin color, and if we decide tomorrow that everyone is a woman that won't change anyone's genitalia. This tells us nothing very interesting, at least insofar as we're trying to figure out questions of social construction, but it's at least true, so it never hurts to keep it in mind.

/r/AskSocialScience Thread Parent