CEPDISC Seminar with Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen
Title: ”Being Free, Feeling Free: Race, Gender, and Republican Domination”
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Being Free, Feeling Free: Race, Gender, and Republican Domination
Abstract: (Don't worry if the abstract is nonsense to you - I will explain in the talk.) Laborde contrasts Standard Republicanism with a superior brand of republicanism, Labordian Republicanism. This superior view ‘answers’ two influential criticisms of Standard Republicanism: The Probabilistic and the Anti-Psychology Objections. The former objection holds that the mere possibility, as opposed to a sufficiently high risk, of unconstrained intervention does not matter for unfreedom, while the latter contends that it is in virtue of the experience-independent fact of servitude, not the fact of experiencing unfreedom, that one is unfree. Also, Labordian Republicanism vindicates the epistemic perspectives of minorities, who due to discrimination, are more likely to be subjected to contingent domination than members of dominant groups. I argue that people sympathetic to the Probabilistic and the Anti-Psychology Objections should have reservations about Labordian Republicanism similar to those underpinning these two objections to Standard Republicanism. In any case, republicans should reject the Anti-Psychology Objection rather than ‘answer’ it. More generally, they should acknowledge that they are pluralists and that, really, they have several, conceptually speaking quite different, freedom-related concerns that are not easily put under one hat. Such a view – Pluralist Republicanism – might, on the terms Laborde intends her account to meet, be preferable to Labordian Republicanism. Specifically, it accommodates the perspectives of discriminated minorities in a way which coheres better with a central theme in Republicanism than Labordian Republicanism.
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