Researcher ORCID Identifier


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Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

James Kreines

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This paper aims to develop a strong account of recognition. It begins with a Hegel-inspired account of recognition as a fundamental desire that drives humanity. This account establishes recognition as fundamental to the initial subject formation of independent self-consciousnesses as agents. I offer the lord-bondsman dualism to provide a critique of domination as oppositional to securing the means for recognition. This entails that, as history progresses the world ought to move towards universally adopting mutual recognition relationships without domination. I adopt this goal as an ideal form of recognition. In Chapter 2, I apply this recognitional framework to gender. Through analyzing four theories of gender, I find the recognition of identity has a significant role in shaping the self-consciousness’ self-determination. Recognitional dialogue can enable one to learn new parts of the self, but often forms of recognition dominate and constrain what identity can be. Thus, I explore three prominent methods of harmful recognition in Chapter 3: domination, intelligibility, and misrecognition. I view these harmful recognition methods as undermining mutual recognition relationships through examples such as recognizing deprecating self-images of minority groups and overwriting self-determinations through wrongful or lack of recognition. Despite these difficulties, I propose solutions such as an unintelligibility account which focuses on enabling mutual recognition relationships within group identities rather than society. In Chapter 4 I apply this robust recognitional framework to technology, which I understand as a locus for contemporary problems with recognition. I discuss technologies’ recognitional role as mirrors for humans, that often reflect yet threaten to replace us. I turn to understanding data as a technology that enables harmful recognition in the present day. I find technology is not neutral regarding recognition relationships, but can uphold mutual or harmful recognition depending on how it is used. With my account of recognition developed, I return to the goal of universally achieving mutual recognition relationships. I employ Halberstam’s account of failure to offer hope for achieving mutual recognition despite the many forms of harmful recognition.