Im Rahmen des Düsseldorf Colloquium on the Philosophy of Race laden wir herzlich ein zu einem Vortrag von
Elvira Basevich (UMass Lowell): The Shared Experience of Oppression
There is a consensus that the shared experience of oppression by marginalized groups can contribute to a program of reform in a pluralistic democracy. In their influential recent accounts, Elizabeth Anderson and Tommie Shelby theorize a pragmatic relation between the shared experience of oppression and the development of a robust standard of political judgment. For Anderson and Shelby, the shared experience of oppression inclines victims to morally understand and resist their oppression. Call this the journalistic conception of the shared experience of oppression. The noted Africana philosopher W.E.B. Du Bois rejects the journalistic conception of the shared experience of oppression and its concomitant characterization of moral learning via the direct, first-hand experience of oppression. Instead he argues that the shared experience of oppression is not only insufficient to guide the formation of political judgment, but it often inflicts serious moral damage on victims. Namely, Du Bois stresses that anti-black social values and practices damage a victim’s self-esteem and their motivation to pursue reforms. Du Bois favors what I call an associational conception of the shared experience of oppression. On this model, intragroup associations in civil society—and especially cultural associations that cultivate a victim’s self-esteem and intragroup social solidarity—hone victims’ moral understanding in the aftermath of their brutal shared experiences.
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