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Moral Imagination and Expressing Solidarity with Vulnerable Stigmatised Groups: Philosophical Considerations

Presentation Description

This presentation examines the philosophical challenges associated with expressing solidarity with individuals and groups who are in situations outside of our personal lived experiences. Solidarity can be thought of as standing together with others to meet a threat or achieve a goal. In the philosophical literature on this subject, solidarity, it is argued, requires that individuals form groups and agree to act to carry the costs and burdens necessary to meet the collectives aim, and also protect those members of the group who are most vulnerable to harm. However, this requires moral imagination and empathy, the ability to see in other peoples vulnerability our own vulnerability, potential or actual. But what if people live in a situation alien to what we can understand? And what if these vulnerable agents are also part of a stigmatised group, such as prisoners or a marginalised community? This paper examines the complexities involved with expressing solidarity with vulnerable yet stigmatised groups and explores strategies for engaging our moral imagination, with the aim of promoting justice and humanitarian action both domestically and on the global stage. In asking who are the humanitarians? this presentation will argue that the answer might be found our capacity develop and explore our moral imagination and build durable and sustainable relationships with others based on a sense of solidarity.

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