Territory and Justice: a research network

December 14, 2009

Secession as a philosophical topic: then and now

Filed under: Uncategorized — Chris Bertram @ 4:20 pm

Via Brian Leiter, there’s a profile in the Chronicle of Higher Education of the founder of the somewhat unsavoury-sounding Abbeville group. But for scholars interested in secession as a philosophical topic, there was this section on its history in the academy:

It was during the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and Mr. Livingston, a professor of philosophy at Emory University and raised in South Carolina, decided there should be more thoughtful discourse on the topic of secession.

A political philosopher who specializes in David Hume, he searched philosophy papers published since 1940 and turned up only seven on the matter of secession from federal unions: five reviews of a book and two articles about Quebec. Thinking he had the market to himself, he held a conference on secession at the 1991 meeting of the American Philosophical Association.

He was right about his share of the market. Nobody came.

At least things have changed a bit in that respect.


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