What does it mean to be in the middle of a pandemic—for us, for our country, or for the world? How do our current inequalities and injustices become amplified by the demands of the pandemic and what, if anything, can be done? Who is most impacted—and why does it seem that so many of the same people are, once again, deemed expendable and "less-than"? How do we explain COVID-19 and its attendant traumas to our children, and what do we teach them about hope, justice, grief, and the role of imagination in survival? And once the worst has passed, how do we start again, and what should we care about as we contemplate individual and collective repair?In this collection of public and political philosophy, philosophers come together to address these and other questions born of a devastating pandemic to which they are neither objective spectators nor external observers insulated by the passage of time. The contributors to this volume are both grounded in, and immediately affected by, their own lived realities as source material for the questions that move and motivate them.
Contributors: Alexios Alexander, J. S. Biehl, Eyja M. Brynjarsdóttir, Daniel Conway, Barrett Emerick, Anna Gotlib, Ruth Groenhout, Claire Katz, Eva Feder Kittay, Corey McCall, Jamie Lindemann Nelson, Jennifer Scuro, Kevin Timpe, Vanessa Wills
Anna Gotlib is associate professor of philosophy at Brooklyn College CUNY. Her areas of research and teaching include feminist bioethics/medical ethics, moral psychology, social and political philosophy. She serves as one of the chief editors of IJFAB (International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics). Her work has appeared in Hypatia, The International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics, Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, Journal of Medical Humanities, Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, and several edited collections.
In Medias Res: Philosophers as Witnesses to Disaster, Anna Gotlib
PART I: Pandemic Selves
Chapter 1: The New Normals: Solidarity, Recognition, and Vulnerable Selves in the COVID-19 Pandemic, Vanessa Wills
Chapter 2: COVID-19 and the Politics of Home, Corey McCall
Chapter 3: Waiting to Say Goodbye, J. S. Biehl
PART II: Pandemic, Illness, and Disability
Chapter 4: Sometimes Life Gives You Way Too Many Lemons: An Observation in Nine Parts, Ruth Groenhout
Chapter 5: The Nightmare of Triage and Discrimination: Whose Benefit Is to be Maximized?, Eva Feder Kittay
Chapter 6: Disability and Disproportionate Disadvantage, Kevin Timpe
PART III: Pandemic, Precariousness, and Social Justice
Chapter 7: We Survived COVID-19! (Possibly), Jamie Lindemann Nelson
Chapter 8: New Labors, New Burdens: Care Work Re-narrated, Jennifer Scuro
Chapter 9: Boundaries of Democratic Life in a Time of Pandemic, Alexios Alexander
PART IV: Pandemic, Philosophy, and Meaning
Chapter 10: More than Mere Survival: Ethical Responsibility and the Intersubjectivity of the Humanities, Claire Katz
Chapter 11: Who Will I Be after All This Is Over?, Barrett Emerick
Chapter 12: The COVID-19 Guidebook for Living in an Alternate Universe, Eyja M. Brynjarsdóttir
Chapter 13: Viral Hope: When Quarantine Comes Home, Daniel Conway
This collection of essays written amid the coronavirus pandemic is a fine example of what public philosophy can be. Social presuppositions are excavated, conversations begun in classrooms extend beyond them, and the contributors’ varied personal experiences do not replace but inform the mournful, hopeful, and bracing philosophical and political reflections they offer us.
As philosophers interested in figuring out how philosophy can contribute to public debates and pressing social issues, we are thrilled to see this insightful and timely book. We highly recommend it to anyone who wants to better understand what we’ve been going through.