A Dilemma for Oppression theorists

A Dilemma for the Oppression Theorist

Oppression Theory is the theory that differences between groups of people in wealth, power, influence – generally, the good things in life – are due to one group of people oppressing another. Marxists, Feminists, Critical Race-Theorists tend to be Oppression theorists in this sense. An alternative view is what I would call “Eclecticism”. This is the view that differences in the good things in life among different groups can be due to various causes, not excluding oppression of course. For example, we have a society in which the good things in life are not in abundance because the members of that society spend too much time playing golf rather than making things or healing the sick. Let’s call this group “the Golfers”. Now in saying this about the Golfers I am saying that they are to a large extent the authors of their own misfortune. This, of course, is a criticism. Enter the Oppression Theorist. She will reason as follows: criticizing a less-well-off group is harming that group; harming a less-well-off group is oppressing that group, preventing people from oppressing people is a good thing. So, she concludes, preventing someone from voicing the opinion about the Golfers just mentioned is a good thing. Generalizing from this, she concludes that preventing Eclecticism from being voiced at all is a good thing. And, voila, you have the phenomenon known as “Political Correctness”. It is just one step from there to Middlebury College.


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MANCEPT Workshops in Political Theory, University of Manchester, 11-13 September 2017

The Substance of Linguistic Justice

Convenors: Matteo Bonotti (Cardiff University) and Yael Peled (McGill University)

Over the past fifteen years, linguistic justice has increasingly become a key area of research in normative political theory. By drawing on existing debates on liberalism, multiculturalism, and social justice, and applying them to language-related issues, political theorists have investigated questions such as the following: how should states respond to the fact of linguistic diversity? Should states officially recognize and promote minority languages? Should states and supranational organizations promote the learning of a shared lingua franca and, if so, is English the best candidate for this role? Answering these and related questions has generated a growing body of literature (e.g. Kymlicka and Patten 2003; De Schutter 2008; Van Parijs 2011; Patten 2014), which has often drawn on examples concerning political communities that display particularly high levels of longstanding linguistic diversity, e.g. Canada, Belgium, Switzerland, and the European Union.


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29th International Conference of Philosophy Greek Moral and Political Philosophy – From Pre-Socratics to Neo-Platonism

Author: Olivera Z. Mijuskovic, member of the International Association of Greek Philosophy, University of Athens

Dear colleagues,

take participation on the great philosophical event this summer in Rhodes, Greece in organization of the International Association of Greek Philosophy, University of Athens.

All details you can find here:

29th International Conference of Philosophy
Greek Moral and Political Philosophy – From Pre-Socratics to Neo-Platonism
July 7-12, 2017
Rhodes, Greece

Call for Abstracts: submission deadline 15th of May, 2017

This conference will bring together scholars and researchers from all areas whose work concerns important issues involving Greek moral and political philosophy. Submissions may concern topics such as:


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New Book — Exit Left: Markets and Mobility in Republican Thought

Robert S. Taylor, Exit Left: Markets and Mobility in Republican Thought (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), xiv + 130 pp.


How can citizens best protect themselves from the arbitrary power of abusive spouses, tyrannical bosses, and corrupt politicians? Taylor’s new book, Exit Left, makes the case that in each of these three spheres the answer is the same: exit. By promoting open and competitive markets and providing the information and financial resources necessary to enable exit, we can empower people’s voices and offer them an escape from abuse and exploitation. This will advance a conception of freedom, viz. freedom as non-domination (FND), that is central to contemporary republican thought. Neorepublicans have typically promoted FND through constitutional means (separation of powers, judicial review, the rule of law, and federalism) and participatory ones (democratic elections and oversight), but Exit Left focuses on economic means, ones that have been neglected by contemporary republicans but were commonly invoked in the older, commercial-republican tradition of Alexander Hamilton, Immanuel Kant, and Adam Smith. This book’s revival and revision of commercial republicanism will enlarge republican practice by encouraging greater use of market mechanisms, even as it hews closely to existing republican theory.


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CfA: MANCEPT 2017 Workshop, The Politics and Ethics of Disenfranchisement

Convenors: Andrei Poama (Leiden University), Tom Theuns (SciencesPo/UvA)

Many of the current debates on voting rights focus on reasons for extending the franchise to those who have never enjoyed it, like non-citizen residents, children or, more recently, non-human animals. With some exceptions, contemporary political theorists have paid less attention to the practices whereby voting rights are taken away from persons who have previously been entitled to exert them.

The purpose of this panel is therefore to focus on the question of disenfranchisement, as distinct from the one of enfranchisement. This means that we will examine the underlying rationales and justifications for those practices whereby people lose their right to vote, broadly understood. We will focus on voting rights and, more specifically, on actual or proposed forms of legally sanctioned disenfranchisement, as opposed to de facto obstacles to exerting the franchise. As such, we are interested in both partial and total forms of permanent or temporary (legal) disenfranchisement. Historical examples such as civil death and the 1935 Nuremberg Laws are also interesting sources of analysis. Further, papers that engage the conceptual politics of disenfranchisement or offer taxonomies of disenfranchisement are welcome.


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Two Year Postdoc at Florida State

Florida State University is advertising for a two year postdoc in ethics and/or social and political philosophy, beginning Fall 2017.

AOS: Ethics and/or Social and Political Philosophy
AOC: open

Four courses per year.
Anticipated salary $48,000.

Please apply at jobs.fsu.edu. Click ‘browse job openings’, enter 41436 into keywords box, and follow instructions provided, including those regarding the three required letters of recommendation. Applications must be received by April 28. Applicants must have received PhD after 1/1/2013. The PhD must be in hand by 7/1/2017.

Women and members of minority groups under-represented in academia are especially encouraged to apply. Tobacco (including simulated tobacco) use is prohibited on property, interior and exterior, owned or managed by Florida State University. Equal Opportunity/Access/Affirmative Action/Pro Disabled & Veteran Employer. FSU’s Equal Opportunity Statement can be viewed here. Inquiries to Philosophy@admin.fsu.edu or 850-644-1483.


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