Carol Hay on "The Obligation to Resist Oppression"
March 2, 2011
Mark D. White
The new issue of Journal of Social Philosophy (41/2, Spring 2011) features an article by Carol Hay titled "The Obligation to Resist Oppression." Similar to an article highlighted earlier (Sandrine Berges, "Why Women Hug their Chains: Wollstonecraft and Adaptive Preferences," Utilitas 23/1, March 2011), Hay invokes Sen's explanation of why women subvert their own well-being in favor of men's, and argues more generally that just as people have a duty not to oppress others, the oppressed have a duty to fight their oppressors:
In this paper I defend this controversial claim: I argue that people have an obligation to resist their own oppression and that this obligation is rooted in an obligation to protect their rational nature. First, I present a Kantian account of the obligation to resist one’s oppression as an obligation oppressed people have to protect their rational nature; next, I defend this Kantian account by demonstrating some of the ways oppression can harm people’s rational nature; and finally, I show how the obligation to resist one’s oppression need not be as overly onerous as it might initially appear to be. (p. 21)
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