CFP: Feminist Approaches to Moral Responsibility (deadline: April 30, 2023)

This is a call for papers for a special issue of Feminist Philosophy Quarterly on feminist approaches to moral responsibility.

Feminist philosophy provides unique insight into the ontology, epistemology, psychology, pragmatics, and politics of responsibility. Unlike mainstream philosophy, feminist philosophy is inherently political and committed to social change. Feminist theory seeks to diagnose a range of interlocking oppressions, including capitalism, cisheteropatriarchy, racism, ableism, and speciesism. These systems of oppression structure our responsibility practices (of resenting, blaming, protesting, etc.) in a multitude of ways. For example, they enforce what Marilyn Frye (1983) refers to as double binds that reduce the options available to members of oppressed groups, making them vulnerable to censure, hostility, and disapproval no matter what they do. 

Historically, philosophers have approached the topic of responsibility from the perspective of what Charles Mills calls ‘ideal theory,’ which abstracts away from conditions of oppression to construct an ideal model of a target concept such as responsibility. This approach obfuscates the role of oppression in the structuring of social practices, relationships, and emotions. In conditions of oppression, ordinary social practices tend to track identity prejudice rather than objective features of an individual’s agency or quality of will. Restructuring responsibility requires resistance and collective action.

This special issue will explore the political dimensions of moral responsibility, with an emphasis on the relationship between responsibility and intersections of oppression such as misogyny, classism, racism, ableism, sanism, and speciesism. Questions of particular interest are:

–       How are moral practices or capacities influenced by the logics of oppression? 

–       How does prejudice inform our emotions, judgments, and ascriptions of responsibility? 

–       How has the history of philosophy contributed to a distorted, depoliticizing, or naturalizing understanding of responsibility? 

–       How can we make our responsibility practices more objective, fair, and equitable?

–       How can we apply non-ideal, ameliorative, or decolonial methods to responsibility? 

Confirmed contributors to this issue include Kristin Andrews, Tommy Curry, August Gorman, Kate Manne, Shyam Ranganathan, and Shelley Tremain.

We have room for three or four more contributors, depending on the length of submissions. The limit is 9000 words but shorter submissions are welcome. Please send submissions to Michelle Ciurria at mich.ciurria@gmail.com with the subject line Feminist Moral Responsibility.  

The deadline is April 30, 2023.

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