A small but mighty group, this month’s Philosophy Think & Drink discussion revolved around social justice. The topic arose organically from an initial discussion about the ethical and philosophical implications of social work and counseling (which represented the occupations of two of our T & D participants). Some of the ethical and philosophical implications discussed included: the need for professional/personal boundaries, respect for clients’ autonomy, and opportunities to promote social justice.
This sparked a more general discussion about social justice, including opportunities and challenges to promoting it within the context of our various professions, and whether we have a moral obligation to do so.
Some Social Justice Related Questions Raised Along the Way
How should one balance personal goals, professional duties, and obligations to society at large?
How do power dynamics affect interpersonal relationships between, e.g., counselor/patient, professor/student, attorney/client?
Does each of us have an obligation to actively pursue social justice causes, or, at least, not to hinder them?
Should the State play a larger role in ensuring social justice, or should it be left to the individual
How do we deal with the inherent uncertainty of the broader effects our policy choices and individual actions have on other individuals, society as a whole, and the environment?
Thank you to the Philosophy Learning & Teaching Organization (PLATO) for supporting philosophy in the community and helping us bring activities like these to the Missoula community!