Philosophy Colloquium: Robin Dembroff
The Metaphysics of Injustice
The Spring 2022 Philosophy Colloquium Series presents Robin Dembroff (Yale University).
Patriarchy and white supremacy are unjust social systems, constituted by causal structures that produce systemic gender injustice and racial injustice. Intersectional theory highlights that these forms of injustice often are inseparable, as in instances of misogynoir. What does this mean for our understanding of unjust systems? Recent work in feminist theory suggests that intersectional insights undermine the idea that there are multiple unjust systems. In this paper, I hope to show that this is not the case. I’ll suggest that intersectional injustice is best explained by the overlap of unjust systems, or when unjust systems are co-constituted by the same causal structures. I’ll then argue that, despite their overlap, unjust systems can be individuated in terms of their essential ideologies. These distinct ideologies reveal unjust systems like patriarchy and white supremacy to be distinct goal-oriented processes that can be simultaneously manifested by the same causal structures.