Autonomy and Equality: Relational Approaches

April 26-28, 2019

Charles Meredith House conference room 101
1130 Pine Avenue West

Poster for Autonomy and Equality: Relational ApproachesThe notions of relational autonomy and relational equality have become prominent in recent debates in moral and political philosophy. Relational autonomy theorists start from the recognition that individuals are embedded in social relationships and that their identities are shaped both by the immediate relationships in which they find themselves, such as their family, and by broader, intersecting determinants such as race, ethnicity, class and gender. Only with an appropriately relational notion of autonomy can phenomena such as oppression and subjection be properly understood. Theories of relational equality similarly call attention to the importance of the relations in which individuals stand to each other. Rejecting the idea that equality is best understood in terms of the fairness of distributions, relational egalitarians propose that equality requires that individuals regard and treat each other as equals. From this perspective, it is phenomena such as oppression, status hierarchies and subjection that should exercise egalitarians, not unequal distributions. Despite the fact that philosophers working in these two areas share a number of important assumptions and concerns, there has been virtually no engagement between these two literatures. This workshop will bring philosophers from these two fields into conversation with one another.

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