In contemporary societies we can find a form of moral outrage which does not easily fit in the classical moral and ethical theories. I name it outrage against social topology, against the way in which the social space is divided and partitioned. I have in view the fact that the division of the social space into spheres, fields, or other topological categories necessarily implies a division or partitioning of the self into different kinds of agency. More than this, modern societies are characterised by an increasing partitioning of the social space, correlated with an increasing partitioning of individuals. I focus on the division implicit in being a worker today. In many cases this implies being bound to a certain space, e.g. a company, distinguished from other spaces such as a public space, or one’s own home. At the same time, being a worker at the workplace, one is not a citizen in the public space; what is allowed to do in one place given ‘who’ one is, might not be allowed in the other place. Nevertheless, social topology is not unproblematic, nor is it taken as being so by the agents themselves: it can give rise to specific moral dilemmas and moral conditions. My argument relies on a real life example: the 2018 protests of Microsoft employees against the company’s decision to start producing warfare technology. I show that their moral outrage cannot be completely understood if we work within the separation worker/civic agent, that their outrage is against such a division, and against the social topology that imposes it, and that they embrace a form of agency which is at the same time, and in the same place, worker and civic agent; an agency demanding a reconfiguration of social topology.

On Moral Condition(s) and Social Topology / A.F. Deaconu. ((Intervento presentato al 1. convegno Contemporary Philosophical Issues PhD tenutosi a Rijeka nel 2021.

On Moral Condition(s) and Social Topology

A.F. Deaconu
2021

Abstract

In contemporary societies we can find a form of moral outrage which does not easily fit in the classical moral and ethical theories. I name it outrage against social topology, against the way in which the social space is divided and partitioned. I have in view the fact that the division of the social space into spheres, fields, or other topological categories necessarily implies a division or partitioning of the self into different kinds of agency. More than this, modern societies are characterised by an increasing partitioning of the social space, correlated with an increasing partitioning of individuals. I focus on the division implicit in being a worker today. In many cases this implies being bound to a certain space, e.g. a company, distinguished from other spaces such as a public space, or one’s own home. At the same time, being a worker at the workplace, one is not a citizen in the public space; what is allowed to do in one place given ‘who’ one is, might not be allowed in the other place. Nevertheless, social topology is not unproblematic, nor is it taken as being so by the agents themselves: it can give rise to specific moral dilemmas and moral conditions. My argument relies on a real life example: the 2018 protests of Microsoft employees against the company’s decision to start producing warfare technology. I show that their moral outrage cannot be completely understood if we work within the separation worker/civic agent, that their outrage is against such a division, and against the social topology that imposes it, and that they embrace a form of agency which is at the same time, and in the same place, worker and civic agent; an agency demanding a reconfiguration of social topology.
work; moral condition; protest; social space
Settore M-FIL/03 - Filosofia Morale
University of Rijeka
On Moral Condition(s) and Social Topology / A.F. Deaconu. ((Intervento presentato al 1. convegno Contemporary Philosophical Issues PhD tenutosi a Rijeka nel 2021.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/818135
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