SOPhiA 2022

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

SOPhiA ToolsDE-pageEN-page

Programme - Talk

Charles Mills__ misinterpretations and insurmountable difficulty regarding John Rawls__s ideal theory
(Political Philosophy, English)

In this essay, I discuss and reject Charles Mills__ five objections raised against Tommie Shelby concerning the applicability of John Rawls__s fair equality of opportunity principle in matters of racial justice. Mills, one of the most influential critics of Rawls, argues that Rawls__s theory is inherently inapplicable for race-related justice issues and that it is ideological and colonial in its nature. Mills criticizes Shelby__s attempt to use the Rawlsian framework in the context of racial justice. Shelby replies to Mills__ second objection by formulating a strong argument regarding the necessity of ideal theory. I argue that this argument poses insurmountable difficulty for Mills__ project concerning the decolonization and deideologisation of Western political philosophy.

Shelby also partially addresses Mills__ third objection. However, Shelby does not address Mills__ first, fourth, and fifth objections. I reconstruct these objections and show that they too should be rejected. Particularly, I argue that it is irrelevant what Rawls himself thought about the principle of fair equality of opportunity in the context of racial justice; that Mills fails to understand the point of the veil of ignorance by claiming that we cannot use left-wing social-scientific materials during the process of four-stage vail lifting; and that Mills__ approach is highly problematic from both moral and practical/political perspectives.

Time: 14:40-15:10, 07 September 2022 (Wednesday)
Location: SR 1.007

Hrayr Manukyan 
(University of Amsterdam, Netherlands)

Testability and Meaning deco