Kevin A Richardson
Assistant Professor of Philosophy

I am a philosophy professor who interprets the social world and seeks to change it, too. I study the nature and meaning of social categories—things like race, gender, and sexual orientation.
My current research question is: how do social categories operate in a diverse, fragmented, and ambiguous social world? In a series of papers, I argue that social categories are often indeterminate and scalar (viz., come in degrees).

I received my PhD in Philosophy from MIT in 2017. I received my BA in Philosophy from UNC Chapel Hill in 2012. I specialize in metaphysics and philosophy of language.

Current Research Interests

We live in a world in which the boundaries of race, gender, and sexual orientation are increasingly being contested. Commonly accepted social binaries—man/woman, black/white, heterosexual/homosexual—are proving to be a fraught way to understand social identity. In a series of recent papers, I argue for a philosophical alternative to binary conceptions of social identity. On my proposed scalar (or continuous) theory of social identity, social identities come in degrees; e.g., one is not simply a man, but one is a man to a lesser or greater degree.  The scalar theory allows us to make sense of racial, sexual, and gender social identities that are often obscured by social binaries.

I also write about the nature of social groups, social movements, and transformative social change.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

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