Structural Injustice and the Emotions

Res Publica 27 (4):577-592 (2021)
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A structural harm results from countless apparently innocuous interactions between a great many individuals in a social system, and not from any agent’s intentionally producing the harm. Iris Young has influentially articulated a model of individual moral responsibility for such harms, and several other philosophers have taken it as their starting point for dealing with the phenomenon of structural injustice. In this paper, I argue that this social connection model is far less realistic and socially effective than it aims to be. This is because the model systematically neglects the key role played by the emotions in human moral life.

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Nick Smyth
Fordham University


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