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In this course blog you'll find a variety of posts reflecting on and responding to philosophical texts that engage with questions about racism, sexism, and other forms of social injustice. Learn more about the blog here.

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Wrapping Things Up

Time flies when you're theorizing about oppression! To wrap things up, I had my students map out the philosophical journey of the past six weeks, before playing a rousing game of E&S Taboo. A great way to wrap up a great class!

Frye’s Oppression and Labor Movements in New York

Marilyn Frye’s Oppression discusses the fundamental claim of feminism, that all women are oppressed, and its frequently met response that men are oppressed too. Frye conceptualizes interacting structures of oppression as the wires of a bird cage. No single wire could prevent a bird from flying past it but the sheer number of wires and... Continue Reading →

Grappling with Empathy and Himpathy

For the last week of the course, I had students vote on which topics they'd like to discuss. As a result, we've ended up with a great slate of topics: epistemic injustice, empathy and himpathy, immigration ethics, and the role of ignorance in oppression. (Shoutout to both Examining Ethics and the UnMute Podcast for offering... Continue Reading →

Problems with Zheng’s Role-Ideal Model

I very much agree with Robin Zheng’s focus on agents’ contribution to structural injustice. As Alex Madva has stated, a structural problem does not necessarily need a structural solution. However, does Zheng propose an adequate account for individuals’ responsibility for structural injustice and their role in changing the system? My answer is negative. I will... Continue Reading →

Critique of Zheng’s Role-Ideal Model of Responsibility

The backwards-looking liability model of responsibility is both extremely ineffective in its execution and misguided in its goals. The goal of backwards-looking models is not to solve injustice, but rather to attach blame and corresponding punishment on the individual agent(s) believed to be responsible. Of course, blame and punishment do have their place; justice cannot... Continue Reading →

In Support of Shelby

For this essay, I want to argue why Shelby provided the best account of racism out of the different works we have read because it is the most complete as it addresses both individual and institutional accounts in order to explain social justice. I will begin by explaining what it means to have an individualist... Continue Reading →

Expanding on Manne’s Account of Misogyny

In my last blurb, I examined ways in which Manne could have made her argument stronger, and I explored how misogyny works as a social power and manifestation of patriarchy in regards to transphobia and the subordination of queer masculinities. I argued that Manne’s ameliorative analysis of misogyny succeeded in arguing against a naïve conception... Continue Reading →

Frye, Haslanger, and Structuralist Accounts

In my final essay, my argument will be that because Frye’s account of of oppression does not fully explain oppression, her account does not  satisfy Haslanger’s critique that the individualist account is inadequate for explaining oppression. Frye believes that oppression stems from societal structures, so her account is structural. According to her account, oppression is... Continue Reading →

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