Epistemic exploitation occurs when privileged persons compel marginalized persons to educate them about the nature of their oppression. I argue that epistemic exploitation is marked by unrecognized, uncompensated, emotionally taxing, coerced epistemic labor. The coercive and exploitative aspects of the phenomenon are exemplified by the unpaid nature of the educational labor and its associated opportunity costs, the double bind that marginalized persons must navigate when faced with the demand to educate, and the need for additional labor created by the default (...) skepticism of the privileged. I explore the connections between epistemic exploitation and the two varieties of epistemic injustice that Fricker (2007) identifies, testimonial and hermeneutical injustice. I situate epistemic exploitation within Dotson’s (2012; 2014) framework of epistemic oppression, and I address the role that epistemic exploitation plays in maintaining active ignorance and upholding dominant epistemic frameworks. (shrink)
The underrepresentation of women, people of color, and especially women of color—and the corresponding overrepresentation of white men—is more pronounced in philosophy than in many of the sciences. I suggest that part of the explanation for this lies in the role played by the idealized rational self, a concept that is relatively influential in philosophy but rarely employed in the sciences. The idealized rational self models the mind as consistent, unified, rationally transcendent, and introspectively transparent. I hypothesize that acceptance of (...) the idealized rational self leads philosophers to underestimate the influence of implicit bias on their own judgments and prevents them from enacting the reforms necessary to minimize the effects of implicit bias on institutional decision-making procedures. I consider recent experiments in social psychology that suggest that an increased sense of one’s own objectivity leads to greater reliance on bias in hiring scenarios, and I hypothesize how these results might be applied to philosophers’ evaluative judgments. I discuss ways that the idealized rational self is susceptible to broader critiques of ideal theory, and I consider some of the ways that the picture functions as a tool of active ignorance and color-evasive racism. (shrink)
There is good reason to believe that scientific realism requires a commitment to the objective modal structure of the physical world. Causality, equilibrium, laws of nature, and probability all feature prominently in scientific theory and explanation, and each one is a modal notion. If we are committed to the content of our best scientific theories, we must accept the modal nature of the physical world. But what does the scientific realist’s commitment to physical modality require? We consider whether scientific realism (...) is compatible with Humeanism about the laws of nature, and we conclude that it is not. We specifically identify three major problems for the best-systems account of lawhood: its central concept of strength cannot be formulated non-circularly, it cannot offer a satisfactory account of the laws of the special sciences, and it can offer no explanation of the success of inductive inference. In addition, Humeanism fails to be naturalistically motivated. For these reasons, we conclude that the scientific realist must embrace natural necessity. (shrink)
This paper argues that scientific realism commits us to a metaphysical determination relation between the mathematical entities that are indispensible to scientific explanation and the modal structure of the empirical phenomena those entities explain. The argument presupposes that scientific realism commits us to the indispensability argument. The viewpresented here is that the indispensability of mathematics commits us not only to the existence of mathematical structures and entities but to a metaphysical determination relation between those entities and the modal structure of (...) the physical world. The no-miracles argument is the primary motivation for scientific realism. It is a presupposition of this argument that unobservable entities are explanatory only when they determine the empirical phenomena they explain. I argue that mathematical entities should also be seen as explanatory only when they determine the empirical facts they explain, namely, the modal structure of the physical world. Thus, scientific realism commits us to a metaphysical determination relation between mathematics and physical modality that has not been previously recognized. The requirement to account for the metaphysical dependence of modal physical structure on mathematics limits the class of acceptable solutions to the applicability problem that are available to the scientific realist. (shrink)
Causal structuralism is the view that, for each natural, non-mathematical, non-Cambridge property, there is a causal profile that exhausts its individual essence. On this view, having a property’s causal profile is both necessary and sufficient for being that property. It is generally contrasted with the Humean or quidditistic view of properties, which states that having a property’s causal profile is neither necessary nor sufficient for being that property, and with the double-aspect view, which states that causal profile is necessary but (...) not sufficient. Shoemaker’s (1998) and Hawthorne’s (2001) arguments in favor of causal structuralism primarily focus on problematic consequences of the other two views. I argue, however, that causation does not provide an appropriate framework within which to characterize all physical properties for two main reasons. First, there are physical properties that do not have causal profiles and properties whose causal profiles do not exhaust their essences. Second, there is no unified notion of causation across the sciences. After distinguishing between the causal and the nomological, I suggest that what is needed is a structuralist view of properties that is not merely causal but that incorporates a physical property’s higher-order mathematical and nomological properties into its identity conditions. Such a view retains the naturalistic motivations for causal structuralism while avoiding the problems it faces. (shrink)
Contingentism, generally contrasted with law necessitarianism, is the view that the laws of nature are contingent. It is often coupled with the claim that their contingency is knowable a priori. This paper considers Bird's (2001, 2002, 2005, 2007) arguments for the thesis that, necessarily, salt dissolves in water; and it defends his view against Beebee's (2001) and Psillos's (2002) contingentist objections. A new contingentist objection is offered and several reasons for scepticism about its success are raised. It is concluded that (...) certain higher-level laws describing the behaviours of molecular compounds may be necessary due to their dependence on underlying physical laws, and that the modal status of laws of nature cannot be determined a priori, as the structural features of the substances and properties they govern must first be investigated. (shrink)
Criticisms of the liberal-individualist idea of the “unencumbered self” are not just a staple of communitarian thought. Some modern Confucian thinkers are now seeking to develop an ethically particular understanding of social roles in the family that is sensitive to gender-justice issues, and that provides an alternative to liberal-individualist conceptions of the “unencumbered self” in relation to family roles. The character of Nora in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House seemingly exemplifies such conceptions of the unencumbered self in her rejection (...) of her housewife role for a more authentic selfhood. Drawing upon the capabilities approach to justice, and positive early Japanese bluestockings’ responses to Ibsen's play, I argue that Nora's character is better understood as exemplifying an ethically compelling disencumbered self in potentially cross-cultural circumstances: a self criticizing and rejecting social roles that are found to be unjust according to universal, as opposed to particularist, “Confucian” ethical standards. (shrink)
In _Sprachphilosophie in der islamischen Rechtstheorie_ untersucht Nora Kalbarczyk, wie Faḫr ad-dīn ar-Rāzī auf der Grundlage von Ibn Sīnās Klassifikation der Bezeichnung ein hermeneutisches Instrumentarium entwickelt, das im Kontext der islamischen Rechtstheorie fruchtbar gemacht wird. In _Sprachphilosophie in der islamischen Rechtstheorie_ Nora Kalbarczyk examines how Faḫr ad-dīn ar-Rāzī develops – on the basis of Ibn Sīnā’s theory of signification – a hermeneutic toolbox which is also useful in the context of Islamic legal theory.
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