01. Conceptualizing Causes for Lack of Recognition: Capacities, Costs and Understanding


  • Heikki Ikäheimo UNSW Australia




This paper asks why it is the case that people so often fail to give others recognition, or at least adequate recognition. There are several candidates for an explanation. First, it may be that recognition—the giving or receiving of it or both—requires capacities or skills that are not always available. Secondly, it may be that recognition, even though it is (all things considered) good, involves costs, which leads to a reluctance on the part of the participants in the recognition relation. Thirdly and relatedly, even if recognition would be objectively good for the individuals or groups involved, fathoming this, or being able to experience its goodness, especially against experienced costs that it may incur, may nevertheless require intellectual capacities or understanding that individuals do not necessarily possess. The paper explores these different answers against the broadly Hegelian framework of recognition and ‘concrete freedom’ Ikäheimo has defended elsewhere.

Author Biography

Heikki Ikäheimo, UNSW Australia

Heikki Ikäheimo (h.ikaheimo@unsw.edu.au) is Senior Lecturer and Australian Research Fellow at UNSW Australia.


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How to Cite

Ikäheimo, H. (2015) “01. Conceptualizing Causes for Lack of Recognition: Capacities, Costs and Understanding”, Studies in Social and Political Thought, 250. doi: 10.20919/sspt.25.2015.45.