5th December 2018: Kaisa Kärki (University of Jyväskylä)

Intentional Omissions as Political Action

Time: 16:15–17:45
Place: Lecture room 18, 4th floor, Metsätalo (Unioninkatu 40)

Intentional omissions are about what an agent intentionally does not do. The intentional omissions of agents can consist in intentionally not voting, refusing to take part in decision making or intentionally not answering questions. How has political theory perceived this kind of (non-)behavior? Are intentional omissions necessarily political actions and if not, what are the necessary elements of intentional omissions at the political sphere?

This paper considers whether intentional omissions should be seen as forms of political action, and if so, when. The answer to this question depends on the definition of political action. It can be seen as necessarily expressive, as carrying political intentions, or as something that happens at a shared social reality of agents. I argue that intentional omissions can be political actions but not necessarily. This is because they do not necessarily have a message that could be deciphered by someone else, and they do not necessarily happen in a shared social reality but might only be witnessed by the agent herself.

Kaisa Kärki is a PhD student at the University of Jyväskylä.