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Barrett Emerick
St. Mary's College of Maryland
  1. The Limits of the Rights to Free Thought and Expression.Barrett Emerick - 2021 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 31 (2):133-152.
    It is often held that people have a moral right to believe and say whatever they want. For instance, one might claim that they have a right to believe racist things as long as they keep those thoughts to themselves. Or, one might claim that they have a right to pursue any philosophical question they want as long as they do so with a civil tone. In this paper I object to those claims and argue that no one has such (...)
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  2. Betrayed Expectations: Misdirected Anger and the Preservation of Ideology.Barrett Emerick & Audrey Yap - 2023 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 24 (3):352-370.
    This paper explores a phenomenon that we call “justified-but-misdirected anger,” in which one’s anger is grounded in or born from a genuine wrong or injustice but is directed towards an inappropriate target. In particular, we argue that oppressive ideologies that maintain systems of gender, race, and class encourage such misdirection and are thereby self-perpetuating. We engage with two particular examples of such misdirection. The first includes poor white voters who embrace racist and xenophobic politics; they are justified in being angry (...)
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  3. Love and Resistance: Moral Solidarity in the Face of Perceptual Failure.Barrett Emerick - 2016 - Feminist Philosophy Quarterly 2 (2):1-21.
    In this paper I explore how we ought to respond to the problematic inner lives of those that we love. I argue for an understanding of love that is radical and challenging—a powerful form of resistance within the confines of everyday relationships. I argue that love, far from the platitudinous and saccharine view, does not call for our acceptance of others’ failings. Instead, loving another means believing in their potential to grow and holding them to account when they fail. I (...)
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  4. Forgiveness and Reconciliation.Barrett Emerick - 2017 - In Kathryn J. Norlock (ed.), The Moral Psychology of Forgiveness. Rowman & Littlefield International. pp. 117-134.
    Forgiveness and reconciliation are central to moral life; after all, everyone will be wronged by others and will then face the dual decisions of whether to forgive and whether to reconcile. It is therefore important that we have a clear analysis of each, as well as a thoroughly articulated understanding of how they relate to and differ from each other. -/- Forgiveness has received considerably more attention in the Western philosophical literature than has reconciliation. In this paper I aim to (...)
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  5. Empathy and a Life of Moral Endeavor.Barrett Emerick - 2016 - Hypatia 31 (1):171-186.
    Over the course of her career, Jean Harvey contributed many invaluable insights that help to make sense of both injustice and resistance. Specifically, she developed an account of what she called “civilized oppression,” which is pernicious in part because it can be difficult to perceive. One way that we ought to pursue what she calls a “life of moral endeavor” is by increasing our perceptual awareness of civilized oppression and ourselves as its agents. In this article I argue that one (...)
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  6. Inductive Reasoning Involving Social Kinds.Barrett Emerick & Tyler Hildebrand - forthcoming - Journal of the American Philosophical Association:1-20.
    Most social policies cannot be defended without making inductive inferences. For example, consider certain arguments for racial profiling and affirmative action, respectively. They begin with statistics about crime or socioeconomic indicators. Next, there is an inductive step in which the statistic is projected from the past to the future. Finally, there is a normative step in which a policy is proposed as a response in the service of some goal—for example, to reduce crime or to correct socioeconomic imbalances. In comparison (...)
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  7. Only Human (In the Age of Social Media).Barrett Emerick & Shannon Dea - forthcoming - In Hilkje Hänel & Johanna Müller (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Non-Ideal Theory. Routledge.
    This chapter argues that for human, technological, and human-technological reasons, disagreement, critique, and counterspeech on social media fall squarely into the province of non-ideal theory. It concludes by suggesting a modest but challenging disposition that can help us when we are torn between opposing oppression and contributing to a flame war.
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  8. The Violence of Silencing.Barrett Emerick - 2019 - In Jennifer Kling (ed.), Pacifism, Politics, and Feminism: Intersections and Innovations. The Netherlands: Brill | Rodopi.
    I argue that silencing (the act of preventing someone from communicating, broadly construed) can be an act of both interpersonal and institutional violence. My argument has two main steps. First, I follow others in analyzing violence as violation of integrity and show that undermining someone’s capacities as a knower can be such a violation. Second, I argue that silencing someone can violate their epistemic capacities in that way. I conclude by exploring when silencing someone might be morally justifiable, even if (...)
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  9. Sexual Violence and Carceral Logic.Barrett Emerick & Audrey Yap - 2023 - In Barrett Emerick & Audrey Yap (eds.), Not Giving Up on People: A Feminist Case for Prison Abolition. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 57-80.
  10. Not Giving Up.Barrett Emerick & Audrey Yap - 2023 - In Barrett Emerick & Audrey Yap (eds.), Not Giving Up on People: A Feminist Case for Prison Abolition. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 161-176.
  11. Weapon and Shield.Barrett Emerick, Katie Stockdale & Audrey Yap - 2023 - Feminist Philosophy Quarterly 9 (3).
    Apologies are an important part of moral life and a method by which someone can satisfy their reparative obligations. At the same time, apologies can be used both as a shield to protect the person apologizing and as a weapon against the person to whom the apology is owed. In this paper we unpack both claims. We defend two principles one should employ to try to avoid such bad outcomes: (1) Apologies must be one-sided and nontransactional, and (2) the wrongdoer (...)
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  12. Not Giving Up on Zuko: Relational Identity and the Stories We Tell.Barrett Emerick & Audrey Yap - 2022 - In Helen De Cruz & Johan De Smedt (eds.), Avatar: The Last Airbender and Philosophy: Wisdom From Aang to Zuko. Wiley-Blackwell.
    Everyone thinks they know who Prince Zuko is and can be. His father, Fire Lord Ozai, and sister, Azula, think him weak, disobedient, and undeserving of the crown. His Uncle Iroh thinks him good, if troubled, but ultimately worthy of his faith. The kids initially think him a villain, but eventually come to see him as a person – neither monster nor saint – someone who can choose to go in a new way. Zuko himself shows great ambivalence between these (...)
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  13. Love, Activism, and Social Justice.Barrett Emerick - 2020 - In Rachel Fedock, Michael Kühler & T. Raja Rosenhagen (eds.), Love, Justice, and Autonomy: Philosophical Perspectives. Routledge.
    This paper analyzes the relationship between love and social justice activism, focusing in particular on ways in which activists rely on either the union account of love (to argue that when one person is oppressed everyone is oppressed), the sentimentalist account of love (to argue that overcoming injustice is fundamentally about how we feel about one another), or love as fate (to argue that it is in love’s nature to triumph over hatred and injustice). All three accounts, while understandable and (...)
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  14. Perceptual Failure and a Life of Moral Endeavor.Barrett Emerick - 2015 - Social Philosophy Today 31:129-139.
    Over the course of her career, Jean Harvey argued that as agents engaged in a “life of moral endeavor,” we should understand ourselves and others to be moral works in progress, always possessing the potential to grow beyond and become more than the sum of our past wrongs. In this paper I follow Harvey and argue that in order to live a life of moral endeavor, it is not enough merely to know about injustice. Instead, we must engage in the (...)
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    Introduction to the Special Issue: In the Unjust Meantime.Barrett Emerick & Scott Wisor - 2019 - Feminist Philosophy Quarterly 5 (2).
    This introduction by guest-editors Barrett Emerick and Scott Wisor to the special issue reflecting on the work of Alison Jaggar includes summaries of the six anonymously peer-reviewed articles and three invited articles.
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    Not Giving Up on Zuko.Barrett Emerick & Audrey Yap - 2022 - In Helen De Cruz & Johan De Smedt (eds.), Avatar: The Last Airbender and Philosophy: Wisdom From Aang to Zuko. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 170–177.
    This chapter talks about the role that others play in who we are as people. Someone's identity who they are as an individual is formed of what philosopher Hilde Lindemann called a “connective tissue of narratives,” all woven together around important values, relationships, projects, and experiences. Lindemann's account of personhood is grounded in the idea that we are fundamentally social beings, always becoming who we are via relationships with others. The work of holding each other in their identities falls on (...)
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    Not Giving Up on People: A Feminist Case for Prison Abolition.Barrett Emerick & Audrey Yap - 2023 - Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
    -/- Feminist philosophers Barrett Emerick and Audrey Yap bring theoretical arguments about personhood and moral repair into conversation with the work of activists and the experiences of incarcerated people to make the case that prisons ought to be abolished. They argue that contemporary carceral systems in the United States and Canada fail to treat people as genuine moral agents in ways that also fail victims and their larger communities. Such carceral systems are a form of what Emerick and Yap call (...)
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  18. Review of Victims and Victimhood. [REVIEW]Barrett Emerick - 2016 - American Philosophical Association Newsletter on Feminism and Philosophy 16 (1):20-22.
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