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Spring 2024 Colloquium: Lidal Dror

Friday, February 23, 2024 - 3:00pm to 5:00pm

Cohen Hall Room 402

Please join us on Friday, February 23rd for our Philosophy Department Colloquium with Professor Lidal Dror.

The event will start at 3pm in room 402 of Cohen Hall, with a reception to follow.

Ignorance and Indifference of the Deaths of Select Others

Abstract: While much concern has rightfully been expressed for Ukrainian civilians suffering as a result of the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian War, many have noted that the level of concern expressed for Ukrainians exceeds that expressed for civilians, particularly non-white civilians, who die in other conflicts. This talk attempts to offer an explanation of the disparate concern Westerners have for civilians who die in different wars abroad. I consider two attempts to explain the disparate concern in terms of racism; first a more interpersonal understanding of racism as racist animus, and then a more structural explanation in terms of ‘white ignorance’. I ultimately argue that trying to understand the disparate concern evinced for different civilian causalities primarily in terms of racism is mistaken, and that an adequate explanation of Western attitudes must be grounded on an account of imperialist interests..