Dartmouth Events

"The Paradox of Resistance," Briana Toole, Claremont McKenna College

Presented by Philosophy's Race, Gender and Justice Lecture Series

Monday, May 15, 2023
3:30pm – 5:00pm
Haldeman Hall 41 (Kreindler Conference Hall)
Intended Audience(s): Public
Categories: Arts and Sciences, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Lectures & Seminars

A public lecture presented by Philosophy's Race, Gender and Justice Lecture Series:

Monday, May 15
Briana Toole, Claremont McKenna College
Location: 41 Haldeman

Talk title: "The Paradox of Resistance"

Talk description: "Political and social resistance aim at liberatory ends, those which require the disruption of “business as usual”. But resistance is also constrained by certain standards – espoused most notably by philosopher and political theorist, John Rawls – that it must satisfy if it is to be seen as justified. These standards can be manipulated to manufacture opposition to resistance, a tactic which frames an act of resistance as illegitimate even if it satisfies these standards. The specter of manufactured opposition forces actors to thread a needle between enacting resistance that is disruptive and enacting resistance that avoids this threat. I argue that this imposes a paradox – resistance that avoids the threat of manufactured opposition cannot be disruptive enough to bring about the liberatory ends towards which it strives; however, resistance that is disruptive enough to bring about such ends will not be viewed as legitimate. Consequently, this limits performances of resistance to those that will confer legitimacy on the very systems that are the subject of resistance."


As part of our commitment to social justice, the philosophy department has developing a 5-year series of public lectures on Race, Gender and Justice (established in 2021). For more information, please visit this website (link)

Funded by the Mark J. Byrne 1985 Fund in Philosophy, which is an endowment established in 1996 to help support the study of philosophy at Dartmouth College.



For more information, contact:
Prof Susan Brison

Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.