In this chapter I would like to consider this issue from the perspective of lan guage. From this perspective one understands the position of gender theorists as saying that the meanings of some words, such as “reason,” present a gender bias. In the first section of this chapter I look at how, according to these theorists, words can have a gendered meaning, and discuss some of the criticisms their position has rightly received. In the second and third sections I provide an account which is not, I hope, open to the same kind of criticisms. In the fourth
section I show how my account can be applied to the meaning of the word “woman” itself. I argue that this account shows how it is possible to continue talking about woman without being committed to any form of essentialism. Finally, I would like to mention some of the consequences that the position pre sented in this chapter has for epistemology.