Du Bois’s critique of Reconstruction and Jim Crow presupposes an idealist theory of the modern American state; his original philosophy of the state has significant implications for theorizing economic justice. For Du Bois, the democratic process of redefining and distributing public goods through grassroots social movements provides a concrete illustration of the value of civic equality by expanding what constitutes, and who has access to, social goods at public expense. Through the struggle for inclusion led by vulnerable social groups, claims for public goods emerge as legitimate moral entitlements of U.S. citizenship.
Elvira Basevich is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. Her first monograph, W.E.B. Du Bois: The Lost and the Found, is forthcoming with Polity. Her next book project, On Second Slavery: Du Bois’s Theory of Economic Justice, offers a philosophical reconstruction and defense of Du Bois’s critique of economic inequality in the nineteenth- and twentieth-century U.S. Her recent essays have appeared or are
forthcoming in Journal of Political Philosophy, Political Theory, and Philosophy & Social Criticism.
Sponsored by the Political Science department. Free and open to the public.
Tuesday, April 23, 2019 at 5:00pm to 6:30pm
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