top of page
Viktoria Knoll (TU Dresden)
Viktoria Knoll (TU Dresden)

Tue, 02 May


Online Lecture

Viktoria Knoll (TU Dresden)

Viktoria Knoll is a postdoctoral researcher at the Technische Universität Dresden. Her most recent work focuses on conceptual engineering and conceptual ethics.


02 May 2023, 16:00 – 18:00 CEST

Online Lecture



Exploring the Semantics of Gender Terms: The Polysemy of “Woman”


In feminist literature, two views on the semantics of gender terms have recently been proposed: a polysemy view and a contextualist view. Both views take seriously the idea of a semantic variability of terms such as “woman”. According to the polysemy view, “woman” is ambiguous between a trans-inclusive, gender-related meaning and a trans-exclusive, sex-related meaning. The contextualist, in contrast, rejects the idea that “woman” is ambiguous and claims instead that it has a single, context-sensitive meaning. In my talk, I aim to defend a conditional claim: if the meaning of “woman” is semantically variable, one should prefer the polysemy view over the contextualist account. As I argue, the polysemy view better meets two important criteria that were developed to distinguish between polysemy and context-sensitivity. In addition, it neatly fits into a general linguistic picture of past and future meaning change.

Zoom meeting ID: 614 8076 0079

Zoom passcode: CEN23

Share This Event

bottom of page