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Unpacking Masculinity as a Construct: Ontology, Pragmatism, and an Analysis of Language
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Understanding the target article requires clarity about the foundational assumptions of functional contextualism. In this article, we explain why adoption of a pragmatic truth criterion necessarily implies abandonment of any interest in the relationship between knowledge claims and the preanalytic organization of reality. If that is correct, pragmatism can be either incoherent or a-ontological. The problems and possibilities of an a-ontological perspective are discussed. Among other benefits, an a-ontological perspective in principle allows researchers to better coordinate knowledge about gendered social learning and the practical ethics of such knowledge. Application of a functional contextual theory of cognition to gender bias is also discussed, and cognitive delusion is suggested as a way to deal with both with the verbal results of a history of gender bias and to help researchers avoid the ontological error built into common sense language as they construction functional pragmatic alternative to mainstream approaches.