WPES: Manon Garcia, Yale University, Philosophy

“On the Importance of the Concept of Submission”

Discussant: Frank Lovett, Political Science


Abstract: In this paper, I defend the thesis that submission not only can, but also must, be the object of philosophical analysis, that we can rightfully construct a philosophical concept of submission, and that this concept is fruitful to the analysis of power relations, which I intend to establish through the example of patriarchy. In particular, I will show that concept of submission allows a number of things: we get a better description of power because we don’t understand power only from the point of view of the people who have it; we can understand that power relations are multiple and multi-directional: domination and submission can coexist; we can understand that submission is a form of power; we can hold together individuality and social structure to the extent that we can see that submission does not necessarily lead to a full moral responsibility.”