« Self-Esteem and Social Competition » @ Salle 309 du Stone Castle
Mai 30 @ 12:00 – 13:15
"Self-Esteem and Social Competition" @ Salle 309 du Stone Castle

À l’occasion des midis de l’éthique du CRÉ, Pablo Gilabert offrira une présentation intitulée « Self-Esteem and Social Competition”.

Pour y participer par Zoom, c’est ici.


This paper explores the relations between self-esteem and social competition. Self-esteem is a very important good and social competition is a widespread phenomenon. They are commonly linked, as people often seek self-esteem through success in competition. Although competition in fact generates valuable consequences and can to some extent foster self-esteem, empirical research suggests that competition has a strong tendency to undermine self-esteem. To be sure, competition is not the source of all problematic deficits in self-esteem, and it can arise for goods other than self-esteem. But the relation between competition and access to self-esteem is still significant, and it is worth asking how we might foster a desirable distribution of the latter in the face of difficulties created by the former. That is the question addressed in this paper. I identify nine mechanisms that support individuals’ self-esteem and impose limits on competition. I offer justifications of these mechanisms through prudential and moral arguments that apply to both interpersonal and sociopolitical contexts. I focus, in particular, on the challenges faced by people in their practices of work. The approach I propose neither recommends self-denial nor the uncritical celebration of the rat race.

Social Justice Theory Workshop, 2022 @ Informations à venir.
Juil 14 – Juil 15 Jour entier
Social Justice Theory Workshop, 2022 @ Informations à venir.

The aim of the Social Justice Theory Workshop is to enable sustained exploration in the theory of social justice. It addresses topics such as the articulation of ideals and principles of economic, political, gender, race, environmental, and cultural justice; the critique of inequality, domination, exploitation, and alienation; and the illumination of political institutions, practices and processes of transformation that might foster progressive change.

Workshop papers will be pre-circulated, and participation implies a commitment to reading the papers in advance.

Owing to the global pandemic, this year’s workshop will be held online via Zoom. If you would like to participate, please send your name to Christiane Bailey (sjc@concordia.ca) by 02 July 2021.

This year’s workshop is organised by Pablo Gilabert and Peter Dietsch, in association with the Social Justice Centre (Concordia University) and Centre de Recherche en Éthique (Université de Montréal).

Preliminary program

(All listed times are in EDT)

Time TBD



Author: Thomas Christiano (University of Arizona)
Paper: “Worker Participation and The Egalitarian Conception of Fair Market Exchange.”Commentator: Arash Abizadeh (McGill University)



Author: Peter Dietsch (University of Victoria)
Paper: “It’s power, stupid! Or: why we need to treat the labour market more like politics.”Commentator: Patti Lenard (University of Ottawa).



Author: Pablo Gilabert (Concordia University)
Paper: “Self-esteem and Social Competition.”Commentator: Daniel Weinstock (McGill University)



Author: Colin Macleod (University of Victoria)
Paper: “The Demands of Justice.”Commentator: Andrée-Anne Cormier (York University)



Author: Suzanne Love (Georgia State University)
Paper: “Freedom from the Market. »Commentator: Sylvie Loriaux (Université Laval)



Author: Ingrid Robeyns (Utrecht University)
Paper: “What can egalitarian political philosophy learn from visions for a green egalitarian future (and vice versa)?”Commentator: Alexandre Gajevic Sayegh (Université Laval)
Power and Domination @ Informations à venir.
Août 15 – Août 17 Jour entier
Power and Domination @ Informations à venir.

As the high tide of Rawlsianism recedes, political theorists and philosophers are devoting renewed attention to a number of concepts that had been central to classical social theory but largely submerged during Rawls’s ascendance in political philosophy. New works on domination,social structures, and power have proliferated. In particular, the relational egalitarianism pioneered by Elizabeth Anderson and the neo-republicanism favoured by Philip Pettit and Quentin Skinner have aspired to reorient the focus of political theory away from the distribution of goods and towards social structures constituted by hierarchical relations of social power amongst individuals, whether relations of oppression (emphasized by relational egalitarians) or of domination (the central issue for neo-republicans). Our international research workshop will highlight new and ongoing work that both analyzes these key concepts and undertakes substantive inquiry into the scope and dynamics of structures of social power and domination.

The workshop will occur over three days. Day one will be a workshop on Arash Abizadeh’s manuscript on Power, Subjection, and Democracy, elements of which have appeared in recent articles on social power. Day two will focus on William Clare Roberts’s book manuscript, A Radical Politics of Freedom: Domination, Ideology, and Self-Emancipation. On day three, participants will present papers on key questions and concepts; these will be short and pointed interventions clarifying the stakes of competing definitions of power and domination and the implications of focusing our political theorizing on these concepts.


To maximize the quality of discussion, participants will have read the manuscripts and papers beforehand. The manuscript days each comprise three sessions dedicated to the manuscript. Each session will begin with brief critiques of chapters of the manuscript, followed by a brief response by the author and general discussion.

Presenters Arash Abizadeh (McGill), Amanda Greene (UC-SB), Alex Gourevitch (Brown), Mara Marin (Victoria), Sean Ingham (UC-SD), Niko Kolodny (UC-Berkeley), Will Roberts (McGill), William Paris (Toronto), Victoria Wills (George Washington).

An event co-organized by Arash Abizadeh (McGill U.) and Will Clare Roberts (McGill U.) for the Research Group on Constitutional Studies (RGCS) of the Yan P. Lin Centre, the Groupe de recherche interuniversitaire en philosophie politique de Montréal (GRIPP), and the Centre de recherche en éthique (CRÉ).

A call for registration will be forthcoming.