Non-Negotiable Demands: Metaphysics, Politics, and the Discourse of Needs

Naomi Scheman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter examines the limits of philosophy and why it is not possible to discover every single "truth" of reality given the tension between needs versus demands. Philosophy unfortunately cannot address the demands placed upon it, as it has been decontextualized in the historical and political sense. Moreover, there are the problems of privileged subjectivity, fixed moral standards that can apply objectively to all (or lack thereof), and the nature of reality. Most philosophers also come from a relatively enfranchised background, and this alone can color their definition of the "real need" of the marginalized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationShifting Ground
Subtitle of host publicationKnowledge and Reality, Transgression and Trustworthiness
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780190267483
ISBN (Print)9780195395112
StatePublished - May 27 2015


  • Demands
  • Moral standards
  • Nature of reality
  • Needs
  • Philosophy
  • Privileged subjectivity
  • Real need

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