AuthorRoberts-Thomson, Simon Eric
Committee ChairChristiano, Thomas
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractSlavery is an unjust institution. Indeed, slavery is often seen to be a paradigmatic case of injustice. Despite this, there is little agreement on how to best explain the injustice of slavery. In this dissertation I examine and reject three main explanations of the injustice of slavery: that slavery is unjust because slaves lack freedom, that slavery is unjust because slaves are alienated from their social world, and that slavery is unjust because slaves lack self-respect. Such explanations are unable to explain the injustice of slavery itself because they cannot identify all cases of slavery as unjust. Instead, I argue that slavery is unjust because it makes it impossible for slaves to realise both their interest in self-respect and their interest in being at home in the world. Slavery is not the only institution, however, that places people in this dilemma; any institution that treats some people as inferior to others will be unjust for the same reason, although not necessarily to the same extent. Thus the explanation of the injustice of slavery also provides us with an explanation of the importance of political equality.