Katherine Ritchie  |  Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of California, Irvine


Penultimate versions of my published work can be found below. Please cite the published versions. Feel free to contact me for drafts of works in progress at kcritchie@gmail.com.



Essentializing Inferences (forthcoming, Mind & Language)

Essentializing Language and the Prospects for Ameliorative Projects (2021, Ethics)

Does Identity Politics Reinforce Oppression? (2021, Philosophers' Imprint)

Social Ontology (2020, Routledge Handbook of Metametaphysics (R. Bliss and J. Miller (Eds.), Routledge)). Co-Authored with Rebecca Mason

Kindhood and Essentialism: Evidence from Language (2020, Advances in Child Development and Behavior (M. Rhodes (Ed.)). Co-Authored with Joshua Knobe

Minimal Cooperation and Group Roles (2020, Minimal Cooperation and Shared Agency, A. Fiebich (Ed.), Springer)

What We Can Do (2020, Philosophical Studies)

Social Structures and the Ontology of Social Groups (2020, Philosophy and Phenomonological Research)

Should We Use Racial and Gender Generics? (2019, Thought)

Social Creationism and Social Groups (2018, Collectivity: Ontology, Ethics, and Social Justice, K. Hess, T. Isaacs, and V. Igneski (Eds.), Rowman & Littlefield)

Social Identity, Indexicality, and the Appropriation of Slurs (2017, Croatian Journal of Philosophy)

Plural and Collective Noun Phrases (2017, Routledge Handbook on Collective Intentionality)

Can Semantics Guide Ontology? (2016, Australasian Journal of Philosophy)

The Metaphysics of Social Groups (2015, Philosophy Compass)

What Are Groups? (2013, Philosophical Studies)

Book Reviews

Review of Asta’s Categories We Live By: The Construction of Sex, Gender, Race, & Other Social Categories (2020, Analysis)

Review of Ron Mallon’s The Construction of Human Kinds (2017, Ethics)

Review of Deborah Tollefsen’s Groups as Agents (2016, Journal of Social Ontology)

Writing for a General Audience

Neither Fate Nor Fiction: Finding Social Groups in Networks of Relations (2019, The Philosopher)

Works in Progress

Two Ways Not to Refer to a Kind

Unlabeled Identities

Social Groups (commissioned for the Oxford Handbook of Social Ontology (Eds. S. Collins, B. Epstein, S. Haslanger, and H. B. Schmid))

Language of Essence (commissioned for the Routledge Handbook of Essence (Eds. K. Koslicki and M. Raven))


Groups––A Semantic and Metaphysical Examination

(Supervisors: Josh Dever and Mark Sainsbury)

Short Dissertation Abstract: This manuscript is focused on the extent to which semantics can guide metaphysics. I argue that, at best, semantics can serve as a partial guide to metaphysics. Sometimes there will be indeterminate answers to questions of the form 'Does theory T carry a commitment to Fs?' Further, semantics will never answer questions regarding the nature of Fs.

In it I apply this methodology to plurals (e.g., 'the girls,' 'Tom, Luke and George') and collective nouns (e.g., 'the team,' 'a committee'). I argue that plurals are indeterminately committed to sums (or other singular entities) while collective nouns are determinately committed to groups. The semantics of collective nouns delivers the minimal verdict that groups exist, but says nothing about their nature. I also undertake an examination of the metaphysics of groups which goes beyond semantics to offer a substantive view of the metaphysics of groups.