The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

MIT Philosophy Professor Sally Haslanger on "Ideology, Moral Theory & Social Change" on May 1 at 3:30 PM

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The Philosophy Department at Dartmouth College is proud to welcome Sally Haslanger, Professor of Philosophy at MIT, to deliver the Department of Philosophy's 39th Annual Francis W. Gramlich Memorial Lecture this Wednesday, May 1, at 3:30pm in Filene Auditorium, Moore Hall. The topic of her talk will be "Ideology, Moral Theory & Social Change." 

Sally Haslanger describes her talk: Human beings are agents able to make choices and govern their own lives.  Recognizing this is important for moral evaluation of our actions.  There is a temptation, then, to explain patterns of inequality in terms of individual choice.  Those who are disadvantaged have made poor - possibly even irrational - choices.  This common strategy of explanation, however, fails to identify how social structures both constrain and enable our choices, and how unjust structures perpetuate injustice.  Can we develop an account of action that both grants individual agency and moral responsibility, but also locates action within structures that perpetuate injustice in spite of our best intentions?  How do structures get a grip on us, and how do we change them?

Sally Haslanger is also the Director of the MIT Women's and Gender Studies. She has written widely on analytic metaphysics and epistemology, and on ancient philosophy, as well as, more recently, social and political philosophy and feminist theory. Her most recent book is a collection of papers entitled "Resisting Reality: Social Construction and Social Critique" (Oxford Univ. Pr., 2012). In 2012, she was elected Vice President/President-Elect of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association.

A reception will follow the program.

The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences