Canadian Journal of Practical Philosophy Volume 7, 2021

Editorial Board:

John Borrows, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Law, University of Victoria
Nathan Brett, Philosophy (Emeritus), Dalhousie University
Will Buschert, Philosophy & Political Studies, University of Saskatchewan
Jane Dryden, Philosophy, Mount Alison University
Jay Drydyk, Philosophy, Carlton University
Lorraine Mayer, Native Studies, Brandon University
Bruce Morito, Philosophy (Emeritus), Athabasca
Maureen Muldoon, Faculty Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Windsor
Dwight Newman, College of Law, University of Saskatchewan
Kathryn Norlock, Kenneth Mark Drain Endowed Chair in Ethics, Trent University
J. Douglas Rabb, Philosophy (Emeritus), Lakehead University
Christine Tappolet, Département de philosophie, Université de Montréal
Kira Tomsons, Philosophy, Douglas College
Jennifer Welchman, Philosophy, University of Alberta
Alex Wellington, Philosophy, Ryerson University

The Canadian Journal of Practical Philosophy (CJPP) is an on-line, open access publication. It was founded by the editors, Philip MacEwen (Departments of Philosophy and Humanities, York University) and Sandra Tomsons (Research Affiliate: Centre for Health Care Ethics, Lakehead University), in 2017 and is published by the University of Windsor through its Leddy Library on-line, open access publishing unit.


In this Volume, we are pleased to present selected papers from the 2020 CSSPE/SCEEA (Canadian Society for the Study of Practical Ethics/Société canadienne pour l’étude de l’éthique appliquée) Conference. The Conference usually meets with the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences (hereafter Congress). Due to COVID-19, Congress 2020 was mounted virtually and the CSSPE/SCEEA decided not to join this format.

The papers in Volume 7 deal with a range of topics in practical ethics.

The first contribution, “A Gendered Analysis of Habermas and the Underrepresented Narratives of Domestic Migrant Claims,” is by K.C. Abalos-Orendain. Abalos-Orendain explores the limitations and possibilities of Habermas’ critical social theory and discourse ethics by utilizing the analyses of two of his former students, Nancy Fraser and Seyla Benhabib. According to Abalos-Orendain, 1) Fraser shows us the limitations of Habermas’ position because it fails to take into consideration the female perspective and contribution to the labor force. This raises the question of migration within the gender framework. On the other hand, 2) Benhabib argues for the potential of Habermas’ philosophy by reminding us of its universalist stance.

The second contribution, “Care Worker Migration and the Responsibility for Rectifying Injustice,” is by Jordan Desmond. Desmond argues that contemporary patterns of care worker migration have given rise to structural injustices for both the states from which such workers tend to migrate and the care workers themselves. After critically examining Lisa Eckenwiler’s account of assigning rectificatory responsibility for these injustices, Desmond suggests that, while there is considerable insight to be gleaned from it, the acute focus on two particular sorts of responsibility-generating relationships limits the efficacy of Eckenwiler’s account. Desmond proposes a model of assigning rectificatory responsibility that focuses on the opportunities or aid that all sorts of relationships to injustice generate.

The third contribution, “Canadian Decolonization: The Path to Indigenous Recognition and Sovereignty,” is by Sebastian Farkas. “How can Indigenous peoples acquire recognition and sovereignty within Canada?”, Farkas asks. The heinous treatment of Indigenous Canadians is well documented. Thankfully, Canada has progressed from this horrific past. Whether it was Stephen Harper’s public apology in 2008, the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, or Justin Trudeau’s 2015 campaign promise of a “nation-to-nation” approach, Canada has tried to repair past wrongs. Nevertheless, Farkas maintains that this is not enough. By relying on decolonization theory, he argues that Canada must change its process for adjudicating legal affairs if Indigenous peoples are to have their rights respected, guaranteed, and upheld as sovereign peoples.

The fourth contribution, “Aging Justice: Health Justice Extended,” is by Alex Mayhew. The ethical framework of health justice posits that humans have a right to health, a meta-capacity to pursue their goals. However, Mayhew points out, elderly people are often expected to endure the loss of capacity as natural, while health justice as an ethical framework has been silent on the topic of aging. Mayhew argues that by extending the idea of health justice to aging, we can see the involuntary deterioration of health and end of life as a social justice issue. Meanwhile, developments in biology suggest that aging may be reversible. Therefore, we ought to support efforts to reverse aging and restore capacities to all people.

The fifth contribution, “The Responsive Diversity Worker: Emotional Labour in Academia,” is by Amber Spence. Women and minorities in academia, Spence notes, are often held to a higher standard in how they present themselves (caring, empathetic) and how they manage the emotions of colleagues and students. The emotional labour that is expected of them is well documented. Spence develops a new concept to address the emotional labour of diversity workers: responsive diversity work. After summarizing Carla Fehr’s view of the epistemic diversity worker, Spence proposes a theory of emotional labour which explains how the responsive diversity worker, in virtue of the unfair emotional labour expected of her, is at great risk of mental health issues.

The sixth contribution, “Seeing Differences Differently: Pete Best and Morally Relevant Differences,” is by Sandra Tomsons. To quote the author, “Recently, I benefited from reflecting on Best’s arguments in There is no Difference. Accepting his argument chain to establish that there is no difference between individual Indigenous persons and European persons, we agree that Indigenous persons and Europeans have the same humanity, moral worth and individual moral human rights. Hence, we agree that Indigenous persons in Canada should legally have equal human rights. The moral difference Best sees, and I no longer see, is between Indigenous nations and European nations. For Best, differences between nations can make one nation superior to another. Challenging Best’s superior-inferior-nation hierarchy, I argue that liberal theory assigns normative status to a difference between Canada and Indigenous Nations which justifies Best’s normative judgment, ‘The nation-to-nation treaty relationship is a fiction.’ However, I show that the nation in the nation-to-nation relationship is Canada.”

The seventh contribution, “Women as Victims of ‘Misogyny’: Re-centering Gender Marginalization,” is by Xinyi Angela Zhao. Among various views concerning the nature of womanhood, Zhao observes, one difference between the materialist and the pluralist accounts is whether a woman should be defined or identified based on her typical female biological features. The former treats “woman” as the social meaning of the biological female, while the latter insists that one can be a woman by virtue of one’s internal identity without also having the normatively associated biological features. Zhao argues that the inclusion or demarginalization of transwomen requires more than self-identification because it also demands the recognition of the role of ‘misogyny’.

Looking ahead, Volume 8 of the CJPP will feature more contributions by members of our distinguished Editorial Board (Volume 5 also contains papers by members of our Editorial Board), Volume 9 will focus on eclectic issues in practical philosophy, and Volume 10 will be a second volume on the COVID-19 pandemic (Volume 6 was our first study of the COVID-19 pandemic.).

Submissions to the CJPP are always welcome. Please address correspondence to Philip MacEwen ( and Sandra Tomsons (

Philip MacEwen and Sandra Tomsons, Editors

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Wednesday, December 1st
12:00 AM

A Gendered Analysis of Habermas and the Underrepresented Narratives of Domestic Migrant Claims

K C. Abalos-Orendain

12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

Care Worker Migration and the Responsibility for Rectifying Injustice

Jordan Desmond

12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

Canadian Decolonization: The Path to Indigenous Recognition and Sovereignty

Sebastian Farkas

12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

Aging Justice: Health Justice Extended

Alex Mayhew

12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

The Responsive Diversity Worker: Emotional Labour in Academia

Amber Spence

12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

Seeing Differences Differently: Peter Best and Morally Relevant Differences

Sandra Tomsons

12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

Women as Victims of ‘Misogyny’: Re-centering Gender Marginalization

Xinyi Angela Zhao

12:00 AM - 12:00 AM