Ethics of conceptualization

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Concepts are defined by human beings, constantly being created and recreated. It is important that our concepts are as reasonable as possible. In cases where the concepts affect the lives of actual human beings, it is also important that the concepts are defined in ways that are just. Bad concepts may be abstractions of categorism or otherwise destructive. The thesis summarizes (see page 18) this problem as follows:

"[This thesis contains] conceptualizations within a field of discourse where conceptualizations have great potential to help or harm. As conceptualizations are made throughout this thesis, careful consideration need to be taken so that the concepts are defined in ways that maximize their potential to be used in favor of human rights, understanding and respect, while minimizing their potential to be used to legitimize totalitarianism, pseudoscience, or harassment. Although all terms and concepts can be twisted in destructive ways or contain unforeseen flaws, one can minimize the risk by striving for clarity. (For example, Spivak's term “strategic essentialism” has often been hijacked to excuse actual essentialism.) Ultimately, the 30:th and final article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides the disclaimer needed here:

“Nothing in this Declaration [or thesis] may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.“"