Metaphysics and social justice

Philosophy Compass 14 (6) (2019)
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Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that aims to give a theoretical account of what there is and what it is like. Social justice movements seek to bring about justice in a society by changing policy, law, practice, and culture. Evidently, these activities are very different from one another. The goal of this article is to identify some positive connections between recent work in metaphysics and social justice movements. I outline three ways in which metaphysical work on social reality can make a contribution to movements seeking social justice, viz., (1) by providing basic categories and concepts useful for clarifying and defending claims made by social justice movements; (2) by offering accounts of the natures of social categories, structures, and institutions that these movements seek to change; and (3) by contributing to “unmasking” or “debunking” projects that reveal putatively natural arrange- ments to be social in nature and hence subject to moral critique, alteration, and possibly eradication.



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Aaron Griffith
William & Mary

References found in this work

On what grounds what.Jonathan Schaffer - 2009 - In David Manley, David J. Chalmers & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press. pp. 347-383.
The Minority Body: A Theory of Disability.Elizabeth Barnes - 2016 - Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.

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