Political Theory Workshop: Emily McTernan (UCL)
Title: In defence of offence: What taking offence can do
Abstract: Philosophers have said a great deal about causing offence, especially whether we should punish or prevent it, but very little about what is to take offence, let alone whether we should take offence. Meanwhile, taking offence has captured popular attention, with a multitude of books and opinion pieces condemning 'oversensitive millennials' and 'generation snowflake'. To take offence is regarded as, at best, a useless reaction borne of emotional fragility, or a manifestation of 'victimhood'. At worst, an inclination to take offence is regarded as actively socially dis-valuable.
Against popular opinion, McTernan defend's the value of taking offence on the grounds of an analysis of its social function.