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Mark lance

"To be clear: everybody has the right to exit from activism, even ones that are merely symbolic or small gestures. "
Why do you think this? Seems an awfully strong claim, and the sentence after is surely not an argument for it. I am genuinely curious why you think there is such a right. It seems to me that there are plenty of occasions in which activism is fairly obviously morally obligatory, and many more in which it is less obviously so. (The railton scenario is one such case.)

Ruth Groff

I think that I am resistant to the idea that what you're calling personal morality and individual conscience come apart from the demands of what you're calling justice -- and do so in the way that you suggest, such that people are not morally required to do what they judge to be the morally good thing in the kind of cases that you've referenced, &/or that they can't be held accountable (even just by themselves) for their chosen course of action. Each of the cases that you pointed to strike me as politically salient moments precisely of moral choice & the exercise of conscience. Am I missing something, or do we just disagree?

Eric Schliesser

Ruth, I am not claiming "that personal morality and individual conscience come apart from the demands of justice," nor am I treating the cases as instances of such a situation. So, I am unsure what we are disagreeing about.

Eric Schliesser

Mark, I do treat -- pace your 'surely' -- the sentence following it, as well as the very next senetence(!), as the start of an argument for the (partial?) right to exit. So, *for example,* I understand philosophy as a self-justifying end and while I recognize that some ends on which one is activist may trump philosophy sometimes, I would not grant that these always trumps it. This suggests to me that there are rights to exit.

Ruth Groff

It was these two sentences, I guess.

"In fact, the issue at stake here is not just a matter of personal morality or individual conscience. Rather, the issue is more closely connected to (for lack of better terminology) professional norms."

I gave the "Rather," combined with your having thought it important to say that everyone has a right not to be active, as you put it, even in regard to symbolic acts - as well as maybe the suggestion that "not active" was a sort of a-moral position that one could occupy, vis-a-vis the demands of conscience - it was this package that made me think that you were somehow suggesting (a) that the acts that you cite were somehow not jusstice-related; and (b) that justice as a norm and "personal morality" &/or conscience can be separated.

Glad if I misread or misinterpreted.

Ruth Groff

CORRECTION!!!! FORGOT THE KEY WORD!!! A position that one could NEUTRALLY occupy!

Mark Lance

If one has a right to exit, then one is always entitled to do so. That's what I was reacting to.
If your claim is just that sometimes there are sufficient reasons to exit an activist moment - to do something other than contribute to a cause - then I don't disagree, but it is odd to call that a Right.
We may disagree on cases. I don't see how the value of doing philosophy could possibly justify going to lunch with the General, or not supporting women in the Rawls way - since clearly neither of these is in any way necessary for continuing to do philosophy. But I am not defending the claim that one must always do the most possible for the movement.

Eric Schliesser

I am puzzled that you see me as defending Rawls, Mark.
I think not all rights can or ought always be equally exercised. (Nothing you say makes me doubt that yet.)

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