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The Colonized and the Wrong of Colonialism

Van Wietmarschen, H; (2018) The Colonized and the Wrong of Colonialism. Thought , 7 (3) pp. 170-178. 10.1002/tht3.381. Green open access

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Abstract

In “What's Wrong with Colonialism,” Lea Ypi argues that the distinctive wrong of colonialism should be understood as the failure of the colonial relationship to extend equal and reciprocal terms of political association to the colonized. Laura Valentini argues that Ypi's account fails. Her argument targets an ambiguity in Ypi's account of the relata of the colonial relationship. Either Ypi's view is that the members of the colonized group are, as individuals, denied an equal and reciprocal political relationship to the colonizer, or Ypi's view is that the colonized individuals form a collective agent and that it is denied an equal and reciprocal relationship to the colonizer. According to Valentini, both options face insurmountable difficulties. This paper argues that Valentini sets up a false dilemma: the third option is to think of the colonizer as relating in an unequal and nonreciprocal way to the plurality of people subjected to colonial rule. This view, I argue, avoids Valentini's objections, but it also raises new questions about how we are to understand the distinctive wrong of colonialism.

Type: Article
Title: The Colonized and the Wrong of Colonialism
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/tht3.381
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1002/tht3.381
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: colonialism, plural quantification, group agency, shared agency, subjugation, reciprocity, equality
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Philosophy
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10047878
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