The Social-Relational View of Recognition Respect

Anno LVI, n. 231, maggio-agosto 2021
Centro Einaudi
Articolo completo/Full text


In this paper, I focus on recognition respect as a component of Anderson’s democratic equality – specifically, how it places certain requirements on the way political institutions such as states treat both citizens and non-citizens. 
I argue for two claims: that recognition respect is a plausible political (as well as ethical) value, and that it should be understood in large part as a matter of an agent’s material relational standing rather than as their merely being regarded in a certain way by others. In particular, I argue that the second-personal emphasis of recognition respect, the conceptual requirement that recognising somebody as an agent involves recognising them as somebody to whom you are in principle accountable, requires that agents actually be able to hold you to account rather than merely that you see them as being the right sort of being to do so. In turn, this implies that recognition respect requires non-vulnerability. 
Together, these claims go some way towards further fleshing out democratic equality as a philosophical ideal, and determining what implications this ideal has for matters of theory and policy.