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Ontic Injustice

Jenkins, Katharine (2016) Ontic Injustice. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

This thesis argues that a particular sort of injustice, ontic injustice, can be enacted through the construction of individuals as members of human social kinds. I argue that the nature of some human social kinds is such that anyone who is socially constructed as a member of that kind thereby suffers a wrong; this wrong is ontic injustice. In Chapter 1, I introduce and defend institutionalist realism, an account of the ontology of human social kinds according to which human social kinds are roles or positions within institutions. In Chapters 2 and 3, I apply institutionalist realism to race and to gender. I argue that race and gender categories are the products of institutionalized hierarchies in which those constructed as people of colour and those constructed as women are placed below those constructed as White and those constructed as men. I develop a version of institutionalist realism that enables me to argue that race and gender categories are aptly understood as the products of institutionalized hierarchy even though formal structures of oppression have for the most part been abolished. I then set out four desiderata for an account of the ontology of race and gender, and show how my institutionalist realist account meets each of them. In Chapter 4, I use the institutionalist realist account of the ontology of race and gender developed in the first three chapters to give a detailed account of ontic injustice. I argue that the wrong of ontic injustice consists of a failure of recognition respect, which is a recognition of the morally relevant properties of individuals together with a disposition to respond appropriately to them. In Chapter 5, I demonstrate the usefulness of the concept of ontic injustice by applying it to two cases, namely pornography, and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > Philosophy (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.690150
Depositing User: Dr Katharine Jenkins
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2016 12:25
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2016 13:15
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/13453

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