Wendy Salkin: "Why Should Those Who Speak for Us Be Anything Like Us?"
Here is a principle: All else equal, one ought to speak or act for a group only if either one is oneself a member of that group or one has descriptive features in common with the group’s members. This principle is widely endorsed by representation theorists, feminist philosophers, and many others besides. In this paper, Professor Salkin aims to understand what grounds this principle by examining different historical and contemporary arguments that have been advanced in its support. She then considers whether, in some cases, we in fact have compelling reasons to prefer representation by people who are neither members of the group they represent nor descriptively similar to the members of the represented group.
Wendy Salkin is Assistant Professor of Philosophy.