The Philosophical Puzzle of Migration

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At first value, human beings are in constant movement, in particular, they move from one place to another for diverse reasons. There are different instances of such a movement. Consider the following instance. Most of Zapote’s inhabitants, a rural community in the State of Querétaro in Mexico, have a relative who have migrated to the U.S. The population itself of the State of Querétaro is mainly based on people who have migrated from other states within Mexico. And, Mexico receives thousands of migrants from Central America annually aiming to reach the U.S. If migration is a common and recurrent, current and necessary, multiform and a spread-out action, then what would be the fundamental puzzle regarding migration? To tackle this question, we will draw on the idea that certain entities are the result of social interactions, or what is understood as the object of study of social ontology.

From the framework of a social ontology, we will consider the following questions: “What kind of social entity is migration?” “What set of social interactions result in the social kind of a migrant?” “What is the role of social norms in the construction of the social entity of migration, especially norms maintained in institutions such as governments?” To address these questions, we will draw on theoretical resources provided by two feminists analytic philosophers towards understanding the kind of social entity that migration is: Ásta (Categories We Live By, 2018) and Sally Haslanger (Resisting Reality, 2012). Additionally, an important consideration for this project is to address questions such as: “Why should the general audience care about a view of migration framed in the context of a social ontology?” “Is this an accessible, desirable and plausible view?” “What are its practical benefits and shortcomings?” This consideration strongly depends on continuous dialogues and collaborations between the public and the Collective of the Public Philosophy Murals Project.