Three-Dimensional Power: A Discussion of Steven Lukes’ Power: A Radical View



Lukes’ third dimension of power exists where people are subject to domination and acquiesce in that domination. The intentional stance allows us to predict and explain others’ behaviour in ways that those agents may not recognise. It denies agents’ privileged access to their own reasons for actions. Using the intentional stance we can understand how agents may acquiesce in their own domination. We can also make distinctions between those who dominate knowingly and those who dominate without realising they do so. It allows us to distinguish morally such cases and to understand the power structure without falling into the Foucaultian trap of seeing all social relationships in the same relativistic light and where all – dominant and dominated alike – are subject to the same power relations and moral responsibility.