Culture and Critique
Sally Haslanger (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

June 22, 2017, 3:30am - 5:00am
Department of Linguistics and Philosophy, MIT

Star Chamber 4th Floor Dreyfoos Tower 32-d808
77 Massachusetts Avenue
United States

This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities


  • MIT
  • Mellon Foundation
  • Harvard University
  • Tufts University
  • Wellesley College
  • American Philosophical Association


Keota Fields
University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth
University of Massachusetts, Boston

Topic areas


"Culture and Critique"

Abstract: How do we achieve social justice?  How do we change society for the better?  Some would argue that we must do it by changing the laws or state institutions.  Others that we must do it by changing individual attitudes.  I argue that although both of these factors are important and relevant, we must also change culture.  What does this mean?  Culture, I argue, is a set of social meanings that shapes and filters how we think and act.  Problematic networks of social meanings constitute an ideology.  Entrenched ideologies are resilient and are barriers to social change, even in the face of legal interventions.  I argue that an effective way to change culture is through social movements and contentious politics, and that philosophy has a role to play in promoting such change.

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