Affective injustice and fundamental affective goods

Journal of Social Philosophy 53 (2):185-201 (2021)
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Although previous treatments of affective injustice have identified some particular types of affective injustice, the general concept of affective injustice remains unclear. This article proposes a novel articulation of this general concept, according to which affective injustice is defined as a state in which individuals or groups are deprived of “affective goods” which are owed to them. On this basis, I sketch an approach to the philosophical investigation of affective injustice that begins by establishing which affective goods are fundamental, and then considers which subsidiary goods—such as freedoms, resources, opportunities, and forms of recognition—may be necessary for the provision of those fundamental affective goods. Drawing from and developing ideas in the extant literature, I argue that two such fundamental affective goods include subjective well-being and emotional aptness. I then show that by analyzing deprivations of the subsidiary goods that enable a person to pursue and attain subjective well-being and emotional aptness, it is possible to shed new light on the cases of affective injustice that have been described in the extant literature, while also identifying other kinds of cases that have not been theorized to the same extent.

Author's Profile

Francisco Gallegos
Wake Forest University


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