The Dudley Knowles Lecture in Political Philosophy: Injustice in the Real World
Monday 1 February, 6pm
Speaker: Professor Jonathan Wolff, Blatnavik School of Government, University of Oxford
Respondent: Dr Katharine Jenkins, University of Glasgow
The perspective of ‘real-world political philosophy’ suggests that, rather than looking for models of an ideally just society, the political philosopher should seek out the most serious injustices in the actual world and join with others to propose steps to remove or mitigate those injustices. An objection to this approach is the claim that without some sort of ideal of justice, first, there is nothing to guide social change, and second, there is no role for the political philosopher. My response draws on the insights of standpoint theory, from Marxism, feminism and critical race theory, to explain how philosophy can be used to identify myths that disguise the injustice of the status quo, and thereby make that injustice evident, without appealing to ideal theory.
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First published: 19 January 2021