Philosophy matters because it consists of thinking about what matters most to us. And right now, social issues are ￼what matter to many people. Gender identity, trans rights, the effects of racism, disability, or cultural history and how we display it publicly: these are all social philosophical issues.￼
At its best, social philosophy contributions to meaningful social change. At its best, it is continuous with gender studies, black studies, and disability studies. But it is also continuous with traditional areas of philosophy: metaphysics, epistemology, and value theory. When we think about race, gender, or disability, we want to know what it is, whether it really exists; how it relates to underlying biological reality; and whether discrimination is a constituent or maybe a consequence of its continued existence.
These are abstract questions, but we don’t ask them idly. We investigate them better to understand our shed social world, and to improve it. This means our answers are important: we have to get it right. And, just as importantly, we have to communicate our answers clearly and effectively to those who are best placed to bring about change.
That’s why I helped set up the Nottingham Center for Social Philosophy. You can read more about some of our work here.￼￼