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BBS - Elizabeth Brake - 14/06/2022

Brown Bag Seminars of Political Philosophy
Seminar series

Elizabeth Brake (Rice University)
The Wrong of Stalking

Chair: Gloria Zuccarelli (NASP-POLS 34th cohort)
Discussant: Francesca Miccoli (NASP-POLS 34th cohort)

14 JUNE 2022, h. 11.00
Seminar Room 
Via Passione 13, Milan

on ZOOM

Abstract

An account of the moral wrong involved in stalking must solve a puzzle: much stalking consists in behavior which would normally be permissible. Many stalking behaviors are protected liberties, and normally others could not limit these freedoms through their unilateral choice. How does the stalker wrong his victim by engaging in behavior which would normally be permissible, and how does her choice change his moral permissions and limit his liberty, obligating him to stay away? I consider different apparently plausible answers: stalking perpetuates gender oppression, it constitutes a threat or coercion, it disrespects autonomy or violates privacy. None of these, I argue, offer a satisfactory account of the essential wrong of stalking. I argue that the stalker tries to force an intimate personal relationship on the target. Trying to force such a relationship is distinct from a simple privacy violation or from forcing intimacy or association. The concept of trying to force a relationship allows us to articulate the distinctive and essential wrong of stalking. I further argue that our interest in being able to refuse such relationships is strong enough to ground a right. It might be thought that this account does not do justice to the violence associated with stalking. But my point is that trying to force a relationship is a serious wrong, and one which affects women in a variety of contexts. Further, I see it as a benefit, not a cost, of my account if it changes the standards on what kinds of attention- and intimacy-seeking behavior we consider permissible.

For information, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  
This seminar is part of the Brown Bag Seminar Series 2022.

 

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