Sally Haslanger is the Ford Professor of Philosophy in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Since 2009, she has also served as Director of the Women's and Gender Studies program. She has published in metaphysics, feminist metaphysics, epistemology, feminist theory, ancient philosophy, and social and political philosophy. Much of her work has focused on persistence and endurance through change; objectivity and objectification; and Catharine MacKinnon's theory of gender. She has done groundbreaking work on the social construction of categories often considered to be natural kinds, particularly race and gender. A collection of her major papers on these topics recently appeared as Resisting Reality: Social Construction and Social Critique (Oxford University Press, 2012) which won the prestigious Joseph B. Gittler Award of the American Philosophical Association in 2014. This prize is given for an outstanding scholarly contribution in the field of the philosophy of one or more of the social sciences. The range of the social sciences is construed broadly so as to include anthropology, economics, education, government, history, psychology, sociology, and any other field that is normally located within the social science division in contemporary colleges and universities.
Having graduated from Reed College in 1977, she earned her Ph.D. in 1985 from the University of California, Berkeley. She has taught at Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania and University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Haslanger was selected as the 2011 Carus Lecturer by the American Philosophical Association. The Society for Women in Philosophy named her a 2010 Distinguished Woman Philosopher, citing her as one of the "best analytic feminists" in the United States. Haslanger has also been elected as the President of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association.
She has a son, Isaac, who attends Howard University in Washington, D.C. and a daughter, Zina, who attends college in Massachussetts.
- Resisting Reality: Social Construction and Social Critique, Oxford University Press, 2012.
- Persistence: Contemporary Readings (co-edited with Roxanne Marie Kurtz), MIT Press, 2006. WorldCat record
- Adoption Matters: Philosophical and Feminist Essays (co-edited with Charlotte Witt), Cornell University Press, 2005. Cornell University Press book page
- Theorizing Feminisms: A Reader (co-edited with Elizabeth Hackett), Oxford University Press, 2005. Oxford University Press book page
- “Ideology, Social Knowledge, and Common Ground.” Forthcoming in Charlotte Witt, ed., Feminism and Metaphysics.
- “Language, Politics and “The Folk”: Looking for “The Meaning” of ‘Race’.” Forthcoming in The Monist.
- “Family, Ancestry and Self: What is the Moral Significance of Biological Ties.” Adoption and Culture, 2009.
- "Changing the Ideology and Culture of Philosophy: Not by Reason (Alone)." Hypatia, Vol. 23, Issue 2, pp. 210–223, May 2008.
- “A Social Constructionist Analysis of Race,” in Revisiting Race in a Genomic Age, ed., Barbara Koenig, Sandra Soo-Jin Lee, Sarah Richardson (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press), 2008.
- ““But Mom, crop-tops are cute!” Social Knowledge, Social Structure and Ideology Critique,” Philosophical Issues, 17:1 (Sept 2007): 70-91. Reprinted in Philosopher's Annual IXXX (2007).
- “What Good Are Our Intuitions: Philosophical Analysis and Social Kinds,” Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume, vol. 80, no. 1 (2006): 89-118.
- “What Are We Talking About? The Semantics and Politics of Social Kinds,” Hypatia 20:4 (Fall 2005): 10-26.
- “Social Construction: Who? What? Where? How?” in Theorizing Feminisms, ed., E. Hackett and S. Haslanger (Oxford: Oxford University Press) 2005.
- “You Mixed? Racial Identity without Racial Biology,” in Adoption Matters: Philosophical and Feminist Essays, ed., S. Haslanger and C. Witt. (Ithaca: Cornell University Press), January 2005.
- “Future Genders? Future Races?” Philosophic Exchange 34 (2003-4): 4-27. Reprinted in Moral Issues in Global Perspective, 2nd edition, ed., Christine Koggel. (Broadview Press, 2005).
- “Racial Geographies,” in Families by Law: An Adoption Reader, ed., Naomi Cahn and Joan Hollinger. (New York: New York University Press, 2004): 208-211.
- “Oppressions: Racial and Other,” in Racism, Philosophy and Mind, ed., Michael Levine and Tamas Pataki. (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2004): 97-123.
- “Gender, Patriotism, the Events of 9/11,” Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice 15:4 (2003): 457-461.
- "Topics in Feminism" (with Nancy Tuana) The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2003 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), here
- “Persistence Through Time,” in The Oxford Handbook of Metaphysics, ed., M. Loux and D. Zimmerman. (Oxford: Oxford U. Press, 2003), pp. 315–354.
- “Social Construction: The “Debunking” Project,” in Socializing Metaphysics: The Nature of Social Reality, ed., Frederick F. Schmitt. (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2003), pp. 301-325.
- “Gender, Race: (What) Are They? (What) Do We Want Them To Be?” Noûs 34:1 (March 2000): 31-55. Reprinted in Philosopher's Annual XXIII (2001). Reprinted in Feminist Theory: A Philosophical Anthology, ed., Ann Cudd and Robin Andreason. Blackwell Publishers, 2004.
- “Feminism in Metaphysics: Negotiating the Natural,” in The Cambridge Companion to Feminism in Philosophy, ed., J. Hornsby and M. Fricker (Cambridge University Press, 2000), pp. 107–126.
- “What Knowledge Is and What It Ought To Be: Feminist Values and Normative Epistemology,” in Philosophical Perspectives (1999): 459-480. Reprinted in a shortened version as: “Defining Knowledge: Feminist Values and Normative Epistemology,” in the Proceedings of the World Congress of Philosophy, (1999).
- “Ontology and Social Construction,” Philosophical Topics 23:2 (Fall 1995) 95-125. Reprinted in a shortened version as: ““Objective” Reality, “Male” Reality, and Social Construction,” in A. Garry and M. Pearsall, ed., Women, Knowledge, and Reality, 2nd edition (NY: Routledge, 1996) pp. 84-107. A further shortened version reprinted as ““Objective” Reality, “Male” Reality, and Social Construction,” in The Canon and Its Critics: A Multiperspective Introduction to Philosophy, ed., Todd M. Furman and Mitchell Avila (Mountain View, CA: Mayfield Pub. 2000), pp, 257-265.
- “Humean Supervenience and Enduring Things,” Australasian Journal of Philosophy 72:3 (September 1994) 339-359.
- “Parts, Compounds, and Substantial Unity,” in Unity and Identity of Aristotelian Substances, ed., David Charles, Mary Louise Gill, and Theodore Scaltsas (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1994) 129-170.
- “On Being Objective and Being Objectified,” in A Mind of One's Own: Feminist Essays on Reason and Objectivity, ed., Louise Antony and Charlotte Witt (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1993), 85-125.
- “Ontology and Pragmatic Paradox,” Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 92:3 (1992), 293-313.
- “Endurance and Temporary Intrinsics,” Analysis 49:3 (1989), 119-125.
- “Persistence, Change, and Explanation,” Philosophical Studies 56 (1989), 1-28.