Michele Moody-Adams

Oct 3, 2022

Making Space for Justice

Social Movements, Collective Imagination, and Political Hope

Columbia University Press 2022

A standard way of proceeding in political philosophy is to start with some form of conceptual inquiry: we first try to figure out what justice, equality, and freedom are and only then we may eventually begin thinking about how these goods might be pursued and achieved. On this approach, although social activism is perhaps necessary to counteract the worst kinds of social deprivation, it is also premature from the philosophical standpoint: as we still are debating what justice is, present efforts to bring about justice are risky at best.

In her new book, Making Space for Justice: Social Movements, Collective Imagination, and Political Hope (Columbia University Press, 2022), Michele Moody-Adams travels a different path. She begins by looking at social movements and argues that they not only can teach us about what justice is, but that they often play a necessary role in clarifying our normative concepts.

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