Carol Hay

Research


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Research Interests

I work primarily in normative ethics and analytic feminism, concentrating largely on the moral obligations that arise in oppressive social conditions.  My other interests include liberal social and political philosophy, feminism in the liberal political tradition, oppression studies, the moral value of animals, and Kantian ethics.


Publications

The Philosophy of Love & Sex: An Anthology, edited by Carol Hay & Clancy Martin (Oxford University Press, forthcoming)


Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks: Feminist Philosophy, edited by Carol Hay (Farmington Hills, MI: Macmillan Reference USA, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning, forthcoming)


"Philosophy of Feminism," Philosophy: Sources, Perspectives, and Methodologies, edited by Donald M. Borchert. Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks: Philosophy series (Farmington Hills, MI: Macmillan Reference USA, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning, 2016).


"Integrity: The Peculiar, The Arbitrary, & the Different," International Journal of Applied Philosophy 28 (2014): 71-88.

Abstract:  This paper attempts to address certain shortcomings in the various accounts of the virtue of integrity that appear in the philosophical literature.  Specifically, most analyses of integrity fail to give an adequate account of cases where we might want to attribute integrity to certain aspects of a person’s life but refrain from attributing integrity to his or her life as a whole.  They also fail to give an adequate account of what we are to say about the integrity of people with peculiar or arbitrary commitments.  Attending to these shortcomings will shed new light on an issue that has received considerably more philosophical attention: the question of how we are to judge the reasonableness of others’ conceptions of the good, particularly when these conceptions are radically different from our own.  
 

Kantianism, Liberalism, & Feminism: Resisting Oppression (Houndmills & New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).

Abstract:  This is a book about the harms of oppression, and about addressing these harms using the resources of liberalism and Kantianism. Its central thesis is that people who are oppressed are bound by the duty of self-respect to resist their own oppression. 

In it, I defend certain core ideals of the liberal tradition—specifically, the fundamental importance of autonomy and rationality, the intrinsic and inalienable dignity of the individual, and the duty of self-respect—making the case that these ideals are pivotal in both understanding and counteracting oppression.  I argue that if we take these ideals seriously then it follows that people who are oppressed have an obligation to themselves to resist their own oppression.

Reviews:

Helga Varden, Notre Dame Philosophical Review

Naomi Zack, Radical Philosophy Review 17 (2014): 313–317

Daniel Silvermint, Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy

Dilek Huseyinzadegan, Kantian Review 20 (2015): 150-154 


"Respect-Worthiness & Dignity," Dialogue: Canadian Philosophical Review 51 (2013): 1–26.

Abstract
:  In this paper I consider the possibility that failing to fulfill the Kantian obligation to protect one’s rational nature might actually vitiate future instances of this obligation. I respond to this dilemma by defending a novel interpretation of Kant’s views on the relation between the value we have and the respect we are owed. I argue, contra the received view among Kant scholars, that the feature in virtue of which someone has unconditional and incomparable value is not the same feature in virtue of which she is owed the respect that constrains how she may be treated. So, even though someone who fails to attempt to protect her rational nature fails to respect herself in the right way, and even though this moral failing does make her lose a certain kind of value, her obligations to respect herself do not go away. 

"Consonances between Liberalism & Pragmatism," The Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 48 (2012): 141-168.

Abstract:  This paper is an attempt to identify certain consonances between contemporary liberalism and classical pragmatism.  I identify four of the most trenchant criticisms of classical liberalism presented by pragmatist figures such as James, Peirce, Dewey, Addams, and Hocking: that liberalism overemphasizes negative liberty, that it is overly individualistic, that its pluralism is suspect, that it is overly abstract.  I then argue that these deficits of liberalism in its historical incarnations are being addressed by contemporary liberals.  Contemporary liberals, I show, have taken on board a surprising number of classical pragmatist insights and have responded to a surprising number of classical pragmatist criticisms.  I thus argue that both contemporary pragmatism and contemporary liberalism have much to gain by joining forces. 


"Justice & Objectivity for Pragmatists: Cosmopolitanism in the Work of Martha Nussbaum & Jane Addams," The Pluralist 7 (2012): 86-95.

Abstract:  In this paper I argue that pragmatists interested in social justice ought to be committed to certain objective, transcultural ethical ideals.  In particular, I argue that we need an objective moral account of what counts as harm and flourishing for human beings.  This objective account of human harm and flourishing need not be problematic to pragmatists, I argue, because it can and should be rooted in certain very basic or fundamental commonalities of human experience.   Furthermore, I argue that proponents of this objective account can and should retain pragmatists’ commitment to epistemic fallibilism, which calls for an attitude of humility with respect to the possibility of our actually knowing what these ethical standards are with any certainty.  In advancing this argument, I draw from both the history of American philosophy (particularly the work of Jane Addams) and from contemporary liberal moral and political theory (most heavily from the work of Martha Nussbaum).

"The Obligation to Resist Oppression," Journal of Social Philosophy 42 (2011): 21-45.

Abstract:  In this paper I argue that, in addition to having an obligation to resist the oppression of others, people have an obligation to themselves to resist their own oppression.  This obligation to oneself, I argue, is grounded in a Kantian duty of self-respect.


“On Whether to Ignore Them & Spin: Moral Obligations to Resist Sexual Harassment,” Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy 20 (2005): 94-108.

Abstract:  In this paper I consider the question of whether women have an obligation to confront the men who  sexually harass them.  A reluctance to be guilty of blaming the victims of harassment, coupled with other normative considerations that tell in favour of the unfairness of this sort of obligation, might make us think that women never have an obligation to confront their harassers.  But I argue that women do have this obligation and that it is not overridden by many of the considerations that can override other obligations to confront wrongdoers.


Presentations

“Conflicting Duties & Multiple Oppressions,” Invited Panel, American Philosophical Association Eastern Division Meeting, 2018.

“Feminism as a Comprehensive Doctrine?”, Manchester Center for Political Theory Workshop, Manchester University, 2017.

“Feminism in Philosophy,” School of the New York Times, 2017.

“On Blaming the Victim,” What Lives Matter/How Lives Matter Conference, Law and Humanities Institute at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University, 2017.

“In Defence of Feminist Solidarity as a Utopian Ideal,” Feminist Utopias Conference, Iceland, 2017.

"Comments on Nancy Bauer's How to Do Things With Pornography," Author Meets Critics session, American Philosophical Association Pacific Division Meeting, 2016.

“Solidarity & Self-Respect,” New Voices in Legal Theory Roundtable, Loyola University New Orleans, 2016.

"Solidarity & Self-Respect," Invited Colloquium, Clark University, 2016.

"Feminist Rereadings of the Canon," Hypatia's Exploring Collaborative Contestations Conference, Villanova University, 2015.

"Carol Hay's 'The Obligation to Resist Oppression,'" Symposium honouring the recipient of the 2015 Gregory Kavka/UC Irvine Prize in Political Philosophy, American Philosophical Association Pacific Division Meeting, 2015.

“Solidarity & Self-Respect,” Invited Panel, American Philosophical Association Central Division Meeting, 2015.

“Self-Respect, Self-Identity, & Resisting Oppression,” American Philosophical Association Eastern Division Meeting, 2014.

"Epistemic Uncertainty and the Problem of Political Pluralism," Workshop on Gender and Philosophy Presentation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2014.

"Epistemic Uncertainty and the Problem of Political Pluralism," Invited Colloquium, University of New Hampshire, 2014.

“Self-Respect, Self-Identity, & Resisting Oppression,” Canadian Society for Women in Philosophy Conference, University of Waterloo, 2014.

“Oppressed Others & the Rules of Engagement," Plenary Panel on "Hybridizing Pragmatist Political Philosophy," Summer Institute in American Philosophy, University of Oregon, 2014.

“Carol Hay’s Kantianism, Liberalism, & Feminism: Resisting Oppression,” Author Meets Critics Session, American Philosophical Association Pacific Division Meeting, 2014.

“Okin’s Justice, Gender, & the Family 25 Years On,” Invited Symposium, American Philosophical Association Pacific Division Meeting, 2014.

"Resisting Oppression: A Kantian Perspective," Workshop on the Duty to Resist Oppression, University of Connecticut, 2013.

"What Do We Owe to Animals?  Kant on Non-Intrinsic Value," Kant on Animals Conference, University of the Witswatersrand, South Africa, 2013.

"The Obligation to Resist Oppression," Invited Colloquium, Marist College, 2013.

"The Obligation to Resist Oppression," Invited Colloquium, Boston University, 2013.

"Integrity: The Peculiar, the Arbitrary, & the Different," Northern New England Philosophical Association Conference, University of Massachusetts Lowell, 2012. 

"Justice and Objectivity for Pragmatists," Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy Conference, Fordham University, 2012.  (Winner of the Jane Addams Prize.)

"A Kantian Defence of Animal Welfare," Northern New England Philosophical Association Conference, Saint Michael's College, 2011.

"Justice and Objectivity for Pragmatists," Summer Institute in American Philosophy, University of Oregon, 2011.

"What do we Owe to Animals? A Kantian Defence of Animal Welfare," Invited Public Lecture, Northern Michigan University, 2011.

"On Philosophical Identity: Consonances between Liberalism and Pragmatism," Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy Conference, Eastern Washington University, 2011.

"A Feminist Defence of Kant," Pacific Society for Women in Philosophy Conference, San Francisco State University, 2010.

A Reconciliation between Liberal and Radical Feminism, American Philosophical Association Pacific Division Meeting, 2010.

In Defence of Nussbaum's Feminist Liberalism, Midwest Society for Women in Philosophy Conference, Michigan State University, 2009.
 
A Reconciliation between Liberal and Radical Feminism, Northern New England Philosophical Association Conference, University of  New Hampshire, 2009.

The Obligation to Resist Oppression, Workshop on Gender and Philosophy Presentation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2009.

“Rationality and Oppression,” Society for Analytical Feminism Conference, University of Kentucky, 2008.

“Rationality and Oppression,” Richard R. Baker Colloquium on the topic of “Building Coalitions Across Difference,” University of Dayton, 2008.

“Comments on Mikhail Valdman’s ‘Autonomy and History’,” American Philosophical Association Central Division Meeting, 2008.

“On Whether to Ignore Them and Spin: Moral Obligations to Resist Sexual Harassment,” 32nd Conference on Value Inquiry, Louisiana State University, 2005.

“Moral Obligations to Resist Sexual Harassment,” Society for Analytical Feminism Conference, University of Western Ontario, 2004.

“MacIntosh on the Structure of Morality: What to do when Rational Preferences Conflict,” Dalhousie University Department of Philosophy’s colloquium series, 2000.