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Ignorance and (Non-)Ideal Theory

Samstag, 07.10.2017

One-Day Workshop with Professor Charles Mills (CUNY)

Vortrag von Sabine Hohl und Posterpräsentation von den Masterstudentinnen: Anna Klieber, Lena Remich und Antonia Schirgi

Der Workshop fand am 28. September 2017 in Berlin statt. 

Charles Mills’ contribution to social and political philosophy has been very important. His nuanced and groundbreaking critique of racial liberalism in The Racial Contract (1997) has identified crucial issues in contemporary political thought – such as liberalism’s problematic reliance on ideal theory – that have become impossible to ignore. Likewise, his concept of white ignorance has equipped epistemologists with a fruitful and novel tool to examine the epistemic behavior of subjects in unjust societies. Mills’ “Global White Ignorance” (2015) and Black Rights, White Wrongs (2017) demonstrate that his analyses are not restricted to the US-American context, but are also highly relevant for global issues. 

Even though Mills’ work provides extensive insights for any political and epistemological theory, it remains less prominent in Continental European debates about social justice. The workshop aims to change this with four philosophers from Germany, Switzerland and Austria discussing Mills’ theories on white ignorance and non-ideal theory, and bringing them to bear on their own work on implicit bias, ignorance, and justice. 



9:30 Coffee and Registration 

10:00 – 11:30 Charles Mills (CUNY): tba 

11:30 – 12:00 Coffee break

12:00 – 13:00 Anna Welpinghus (TU Dortmund): Implicit bias, motivated cognition, and active ignorance

13:00 – 14:30 Lunch

14:30 – 15:30 Nadja El Kassar (ETH Zürich): Democracies and the Issue of Ignorance

15:30 – 16:30 Sabine Hohl (University of Graz): Seeing injustice, working towards justice. On ideal and nonideal theory 

16:30 – 17:00 Coffee Break

17:00 – 18:00 Daniel James (University of Essen): Idealization in Non-Ideal Theory

19:00 Dinner

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