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Fugitive Freedom: Towards a Standpoint Theory of Normativity (Daniel Loick)

Epistemic standpoint theories have elaborated the effects of social situatedness on epistemic competence: Dominant groups are regularly subject to epistemic blockages that limit the possibility of cognition and knowledge production. Oppressed groups, on the other hand, have access to perceptions and insights that dominant groups lack. This diagnosis can be generalized: Not only our epistemic, but also our normative relation to the world is socially situated, that is, our values, virtues, moral sentiments are shaped by relations of domination. In this paper, my goal is to sketch the general outlines of a standpoint theory of normativity. The basic intuitions of this idea can already be found in Hegel’s famous account of domination and servitude, which I interpret in a normative way: The servant not only has a truer knowledge, but also a normatively better practical self-relation. I further illuminate this claim by exploring conceptions of fugitive freedom in the Black Radical Tradition.

Freie Universität Berlin
Humboldt Universität zu Berlin
Universität der Künste Berlin