SKC Workshop Spring 2024

Carlota Salvador Megias

(University of Bergen, Norway)

"Justice as Invitation to Community – Philosophical Sketches Through Kierkegaard, Aristotle, and Lorde"

In the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle gives a suggestive – and, by contemporary standards, perhaps uncomfortable – gloss on justice: Whatever justice may be, it is in some sense particular to, mediated by, or otherwise constituted through a specific relationship. Consider the following simple, “toy” example given in this spirit: My “doing justice” to (let’s say) our mutual friend may look very different from your “doing justice” to him. Likewise, “doing justice” to a text as the particular reader I am may, too, look quite distinct from the justice you, a particular reader in your own right, may give it. What I am here calling Aristotle’s gloss invites us to explore justice (between, ex., individual persons) more expansively, and with more fellow kindness and precision, than we (philosophers) may typically find ourselves inclined to practice – especially, I suspect, when it comes to the (never not poetic) language we use to articulate our analyses and intuitions. In this workshop, I’d like to present some ideas I have in this regard by taking philosopher-poet Audre Lorde’s work and Kierkegaard’s authorship – especially Either/Or, Stages on Life’s Way, and The Point of View – together. I will pay particular attention to the intersecting ways in which they develop the erotic (inclusive of “genius”) and its relationship to emotion, especially resentment; the (related) place of the creative and of play in what I will somewhat uncarefully refer to as their “existentialism;” and sketch some questions (and possible answers) that their encounter makes possible regarding the myriad relationships we find throughout Either/Or and Stages. My suspicion is that Kierkegaard, so “read by” Lorde, has much to contribute to this problematic of justice.