This paper explores the intersection between affect, emotion, social imaginaries, and institutions through the lens of epistemic power in the academy. It argues that attending to this intersection is critical for a fuller understanding of how affective and emotional dynamics can assist to entrench, but also disrupt, asymmetries of epistemic privilege that cut across lines of race, sex, and other markers of social difference. As part of this discussion the paper reflects on the possibility of intervening in dominant social imaginaries (...) that become sedimented in the routine operations of the modern university, and which produce affective ecologies that sustain epistemic exclusions within academic institutions. (shrink)
This paper critiques Jesse Prinz’s rejection of Adam Smith’s model of impartial spectatorship as a viable corrective to empathic bias. I argue that Prinz’s case is unconvincing, insofar as it rests on an underdeveloped account of Smith’s view of critical self-regulation. By presenting a more detailed and attentive reading of Smithean impartial spectatorship, and exploring Smith’s compelling account of structural supports for sympathetic engagement, this paper demonstrates how Smith’s work is able to constructively engage with contemporary concerns regarding empathy’s role (...) in guiding moral behaviour. (shrink)
Drawing on recent work in social epistemology, critical race theory, and settler colonial studies, Millicent Churcher outlines how Adam Smith’s account of ‘sympathy’ as an imaginative and reflective capacity provides fertile resources for addressing systemic failures to recognize the histories, needs, and experiences of marginalized social groups.
This paper explores the relationship between honour and recognition in the context of normative heterosexuality, and the implications of this relationship for sustaining and transforming problematic sexual norms. Building on recent attempts to move beyond a narrow and restrictive focus on consent as a means of thinking through the ethics of heterosexual sex, we reflect critically on the concept of honour in this domain. Honour, in our approach, is a cluster concept that houses a number of related normative values and (...) affective attitudes, including respect, self-respect, pride, dignity, esteem, integrity, trust, and honesty. We examine how honour is distributed by heterosexual imaginaries in ways that privilege men in the sexual encounter, and argue that part of cultivating ethical heterosexual relations is to imagine a sexual honour code where both men and women see themselves, and are seen by their counterpart, as entitled to sexual respect. To conclude, the paper examines and defends the cultivation of ethical, just, and honourable heterosexual relations as a necessarily embodied, intersubjective, and imaginative endeavour that involves challenges to, and shifts within, multiple imaginaries and sensibilities that cluster to support damaging norms of sexual conduct. (shrink)
This paper draws on the example of the Northern Territory Intervention to examine the role of Australia's broader socio‐cultural context in maintaining racist policies concerning Indigenous self‐governance. Central to this paper is the claim that legislative, constitutional, and other structural reforms are limited on their own to prevent institutional practices of violence and exclusion that are bound up with popular ways of imagining Indigenous and non‐Indigenous identities. In light of the potential limitations of top‐down reforms to prevent the perpetuation of (...) discriminatory policymaking in relation to Australia's First Peoples, this paper explores the value of bottom‐up initiatives that constructively engage the imaginative, affective, and reflective capacities of individuals to facilitate a ‘critical re‐imagining’ (The Epistemology of Resistance: Gender and Racial Oppression, Epistemic Injustice, and Resistant Imaginations, Oxford University Press, 2013) of Indigenous Australians as social and political actors. Developing and supporting such initiatives, on this view, is integral to the wider task of promoting and protecting Indigenous rights, interests, and entitlements. (shrink)
This paper develops the concept of epistemic apprenticeship as a response to failures among privileged social actors to perceive the knowledge bases of unjustly marginalised groups as sources of valuable insight. Inspired by Elizabeth Spelman’s reflections on apprenticeship and intersectional feminism, an epistemic apprenticeship represents an obverse form of apprenticeship; one in which socially privileged knowers become apprentices to those who do not enjoy equivalent power and privilege. This paper critiques and extends Spelman’s account of apprenticeship by focussing on how (...) the institutional sedimentation of dominant social imaginaries works against the volitional and virtuous practice of apprenticeship, and by exploring what a commitment to epistemic apprenticeship demands at the level of institutional practice. As part of this discussion, I scrutinise the conditions under which institutionalised apprenticeships may fall short of their meliorative potential, and may obstruct rather than aid efforts to achieve greater epistemic justice. (shrink)
To date the wealth of literature on abortion has been dedicated to resolving the question of its legal and moral permissibility in relation to the fetus and pregnant woman as subjects of moral standing. This has created a dichotomised way of talking about abortion chiefly in terms of conflicting rights; as a „wrongful‟ versus „legitimate‟ form of killing. The tension between this individualistic rights-based discourse and the „ethic of care‟ to which women are often expected to conform in their moral (...) deliberations gives rise to a stigmatising picture of a woman who aborts as „callous‟ or „selfish.‟ Males who share in abortion decisions are rarely subject to the same type of criticism. In this paper I aim to conceptualise the impact of normative femininity and social judgement on women‟s capacity for moral self-determination in abortion contexts within the framework of an injustice. I will do so by examining women‟s discursive participation with respect to abortion, and by analysing the impact that abortion stigma has on women‟s moral agency and lived experience. This will enable me to demonstrate how women may be uniquely subject to a hermeneutical injustice, which in abortion contexts gives way to a phenomenological injustice. (shrink)
This paper adopts the view promoted by early modern philosopher Adam Smith that exercises of the sympathetic imagination play an important role in supporting human sociability and ethical behaviour. It argues that such exercises have potential to significantly change the way in which privileged racial identities relate to marginalised and devalued racial identities. First, the paper draws on Sally Haslanger’s reflections upon her lived experience of transracial parenting to illustrate how sympathetic identification with the experiences of a differently racialized individual (...) can transform the way in which we relate to entire racial groups. Haslanger’s account demonstrates the potential for exercises of the sympathetic imagination to disrupt the way in which we experience our own embodiment, and to generate a form of knowledge that implicates our sense of self and will to act. Second, the paper discusses some limitations of appealing to sympathy as a social resource in less intimate contexts. This discussio... (shrink)