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editor’s introduction
1. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1/2
Alex Sager Migration and Mobility
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2. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1/2
Tiffany E. Montoya Understanding the Legitimacy of Movement: The Nomadism of Gitanos (Spanish Roma) and Conquistadors
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While Spain was conquering new lands in the Americas, foreigners arrived into their own—the Gitanos. Spain imposed a double-standard whereby their crossing into new, occupied, territory was legitimate, but the entry of others into Spanish territory was not. I compare and contrast these historically parallel movements of people using Deleuze and Guattari’s taxonomy of movement (what they refer to as nomadology). I conclude that the double-standard of movement was due to differences of power between these two groups, understood in terms of material conditions, a prototypical “racial contract,” and differences in the relationship to land and space. This history and analysis of colonial Spain is a critical start for Latin American postcolonial theory; it gives us a framework to study philosophies of migration and nomadism; and finally, it introduces the Gitanos (and Roma in general) as an important population to complicate critical race theory or theories of ethnicity.
3. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1/2
Amy Reed-Sandoval Travel for Abortion as a Form of Migration
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In this essay I explore how travel and border-crossing for abortion care constitutes a challenge to methodological nationalism, which serves to obscure such experiences from view. Drawing up field research conducted at two abortion clinics in Albuquerque, New Mexico, I also explore some implications of regarding pregnant people who travel for abortion care as a type of migrant, even (but not necessarily) if they are U.S. citizens and legal residents. Finally, I assess how this discursive shift can make important contributions to pandemic and migration ethics.
4. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1/2
Gajendran Ayyathurai Emigration Against Caste, Transformation of the Self, and Realization of the Casteless Society in Indian Diaspora
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Regardless of British colonial motives, many Indians migrated against caste/casteism across Indian, Atlantic, and Pacific Oceans. British Guiana marked the entry of Indian indentured laborers in the Caribbean in 1838. Paradoxically, thereafter religious and caste identities have risen among them. This article aims to unravel the intersectionality of religion, caste, and gender in the Caribbean Indian diaspora. Based on the recent field study in Guyana and Suriname as well as from the interdisciplinary sources, this essay examines: how brahminical deities, temples, and patriarchal institutions have re-invented caste-based asymmetrical sociality in the plantation colonies. Contrary to such re-establishment of brahminical inequalities, it argues, the castefree Indo-Guyanese religio-cultural practices foster inter-religious and inter-racial inclusive integration. And that this has led to self-transformation as well as in the making of a casteless society in the Caribbean.
5. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1/2
Michael Ball-Blakely Migration, Mobility, and Spatial Segregation: Freedom of Movement as Equal Opportunity
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Many supporters of open borders argue that restrictions on immigration are unjust in part because they undermine equal opportunity. Borders prevent the globally least-advantaged from pursuing desirable opportunities abroad, cementing arbitrary facts about birth and citizenship. In this paper I advance an argument from equal opportunity to global freedom of movement. In addition to preventing people from pursuing desirable opportunities, borders also create a prone, segregated population that can be dominated and exploited. Restrictions on mobility do not just trap people in bad opportunity sets—they help create bad opportunities by isolating the negative externalities of production and foreign policy. Freedom of movement can play a vital role in spreading risks and burdens, incentivizing their mitigation. Using an analysis of feudalism, segregation, and the transnational economy, I illustrate the centrality of space and mobility, showing why freedom of movement is a necessary tool for preventing political and economic oppression.
6. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1/2
Benjamin Boudou Beyond the Welcoming Rhetoric: Hospitality as a Principle of Care for the Displaced
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The concept of hospitality has seen a strong revival in the literature on migration and among pro-migrant activists. However, its meaning, its scope, and the nature of the obligations it imposes remain contested. Open-border advocates see hospitality as a moral principle of openness that should trump nationalist arguments for closure, while nationalists tap into the home analogy and compare the state to a household welcoming migrants as guests, whose stay should accordingly be temporary and marked by gratitude. Some consider hospitality a virtue that should translate into a personal responsibility to open one’s doors to others, while some politicise the concept to apply it to borders and state duties towards migrants. This paper unpacks the various literal and metaphorical meanings of the age-old concept of hospitality, and the shortcomings of its rhetorical uses. It then argues for a conception of hospitality as a principle of care towards displaced people. Hospitality alleviates ordinary obstacles that prevent a functional life in a new environment and allows for home-making practices. It is triggered by the vulnerability created by displacement, i.e., the material, emotional and political harms resulting from the loss of a home.
7. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1/2
Kyle Fruh Climate Change Driven Displacement and Justice: The Role of Reparations
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An increasingly wide array of moral arguments has coalesced in recent work on the question of how to confront the phenomenon of climate change driven displacement. Despite invoking a range of disparate moral principles, arguments addressing displacement across international borders seem to converge on a similar range of policy remedies: expansion of the 1951 Refugee Convention to include ecological refugees, expedited immigration (whether individual or collective), or, for entire political communities that have suffered displacement, even the ceding of sovereign territory. Curiously, this convergence is observable even across the distinction of interest for this paper: the distinction between arguments that proceed in the vein of reparations and arguments that reach their conclusion without invoking any reparations. Even though as a collection they appear to point in the same direction, I argue that non-reparative arguments that seek to address climate change driven displacement have several shortcomings, such that climate justice should be understood to include an indispensable role for reparations.
book reviews
8. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1/2
Codi Stevens Medical Sexism: Contraception Access, Reproductive Medicine, and Health Care
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9. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1/2
Jessica Davis Socially Just Pedagogies: Posthumanist, Feminist and Materialist Perspectives in Higher Education
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10. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1/2
Cassie Finley The Philosopher Queens
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11. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1/2
Garret Merriam Heart of the Machine: Our Future in a World of Artificial Emotional Intelligence
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12. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1/2
Chad Wiener Medieval Sensibilities: A History of Emotions in the Middle Ages
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13. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1/2
Curtis Joseph Howd On Truth
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14. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1/2
Marisol Brito The Routledge Handbook of Epistemic Injustice
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editor’s introduction
15. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1/2
Ramona Ilea Introduction
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16. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1/2
Julinna C. Oxley How to Be a (Good) Philosopher-Activist
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Can philosophers be good activists? This essay defines activism for the philosopher and then provides a normative conception of a good philosopher-activist that is grounded in rational integrity and sound rational deliberation. I argue that because philosophers have been trained in reasoning and argumentation, they can contribute these skills to an activist movement. An activist with rational integrity exhibits five skills or virtues: they are honest, rational, logical, deliberative, and respectful. Conversely, bad philosopher-activists display five vices: they are dishonest, manipulative, obfuscating, thoughtless, and insulting. Next, I argue that rhetorical and reasoning skills are only part of what define good activism, and describe the soft skills needed for effective activism. Philosophical training sometimes works against the development of these soft skills, but they are critical to the success of the philosopher-activist. I conclude by describing activism within the context of academic life and argue that philosophers who engage in activism can do so in an intellectually responsible way.
17. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1/2
Eric Thomas Weber The Pragmatist’s Call to Democratic Activism in Higher Education
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This essay defends the Pragmatist’s call to activism in higher education, understanding it as a necessary development of good democratic inquiry. Some criticisms of activism have merit, but I distinguish crass or uncritical activism from judicious activism. I then argue that judicious activism in higher education and in philosophy is not only defensible, but both called for implicitly in the task of democratic education as well as an aspect of what John Dewey has articulated as the supreme intellectual obligation, namely to ensure that inquiry is put to use for the benefit of life.
18. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1/2
Kyle York The Philosopher as Moral Activist: A Call for Ethical Caution in Publication
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It is normal to think that philosophers’ first dedication is to the truth. Publishers and writers consider ideas and papers according to criteria such as originality, eloquence, interestingness, soundness, and plausibility. I suggest that moral consequence should play a greater role in our choices to publish when serious harm is at stake. One’s credence in a particular idea should be weighed against the potential consequences of the publication of one’s ideas both if one turns out to be right and if one turns out to be wrong. This activist approach to philosophical writing combines moral concern with epistemic humility.
19. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1/2
Amy McKiernan Ethics Across Campus and the Curriculum: An Overview of Work in Progress
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In this essay, I offer an overview of the “Ethics Across Campus and the Curriculum Program” developed at Dickinson College over the past two years as part of a broader initiative to promote civic education and engagement. The essay proceeds in three parts. First, I explain the decision to adopt the language of “ethical reasoning” in our program and how I understand this work as supporting student activism. Second, I describe the faculty study group developed to incorporate ethical reasoning into already existing courses across the college. Third, I focus on how our college has incorporated ethical reasoning into new student orientation and first year student leadership retreats. Finally, I conclude with work on the horizon and a surprising result that has emerged from doing this work.
20. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1/2
R. A. Main Making Room for Activist Voices in a Philosophically Sound Theory of Disability: The Solidarity Thesis Versus the Welfarist Approach
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Against the medical and social models of disability are two newer proposals. Elizabeth Barnes’ Minority Body proposes that it is the bodies which are advocated for and included in the disability rights movement which are rightfully called “disabled.” Savulescu and Kahane’s Welfarist approach proposes that disability is intrinsically tied to the effects of bodily states on welfare. They put the need for a consistent and relatively simple normative theory above accounting for standard case judgements about who is and is not disabled or looking at all to membership of the disabled community. I argue that Barnes’ theory offers the best response to issues with the dominant models of disability. Further, I argue that the Welfarist theory operates in a space removed from the wishes and lived experiences of disabled people – separating ‘disability’ from activism entirely – to its detriment. Doing so compromises its explanatory power, over-generalizes the concept and prevents the insertion of meaningful boundaries. Barnes’ ‘solidarity thesis’ soundly conceptualizes disability whilst making room for activist voices. The centering of activist projects makes it stronger.