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Kathleen Stock’s Reasoned Critique of Gender Ideology

In this episode of New Ideal Live, Onkar Ghate, Dan Schwartz and Ben Bayer discuss British philosopher Kathleen Stock’s book Material Girls, in which Stock bravely challenges “gender identity theory,” the influential idea that gender is determined entirely by private feelings.

Among the topics covered:

  • The controversy over Stock’s opposition to gender self-identification laws in the UK;
  • The case that an orthodoxy has formed around “gender identity theory;”
  • The value of Stock’s book for different audiences;
  • Stock’s argument that biological sex is real and essentially binary despite borderline cases;
  • Why we need a concept of biological sex;
  • Stock’s critique of the idea that gender identity is a psychological state;
  • Stock’s model of gender identity as a psychological assessment of one’s own sex in relation to that of others;
  • Stock’s view that the ability to change biological sex is a fiction many are immersed in;
  • Similarities between Stock’s view of concepts and Ayn Rand’s;
  • The role of secondhandedness and authoritarianism in the acceptance of “gender identity theory.”

Mentioned in this podcast are Stock’s book Material Girls and Rand’s book Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, especially chapter 7, “The Cognitive Role of Concepts.”

The podcast was recorded on June 8, 2022. Listen to the discussion below. Listen and subscribe from your mobile device on Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts, Spotify or Stitcher. Watch archived podcasts here.

Podcast audio:

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Sam Weaver

Sam Weaver, BA in English, is a junior education fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute.

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