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Rape Culture and Epistemology

In Jennifer Lackey (ed.), Applied Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 253–282 (2021)

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  1. Moral encroachment and the ideal of unified agency.Cory Davia - 2022 - Philosophical Explorations 26 (2):179-196.
    According to the moral encroachment thesis, moral features of a situation can affect not just what we’re practically justified in doing but also what we’re epistemically justified in believing. This paper offers a new rationale for that thesis, drawing on observations about the role of reflection in agency.
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  • Epistemic Courage.Jonathan Ichikawa - forthcoming - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Epistemic Courage is a timely and thought-provoking exploration of the ethics of belief. Drawing on a wide range of examples, from conspiracy theories to medical misinformation, Ichikawa shows why epistemology is no mere academic abstraction - the question of what to believe couldn't be more urgent. And, he argues, many mainstream ideas about what to believe - those emphasizing the importance of ensuring that one doesn't believe with insufficient evidence - are incomplete and distorting in important and harmful ways. A (...)
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  • Can Pragmatists Be Moderate?Alex Worsnip - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (3):531-558.
    In discussions of whether and how pragmatic considerations can make a difference to what one ought to believe, two sets of cases feature. The first set, which dominates the debate about pragmatic reasons for belief, is exemplified by cases of being financially bribed to believe (or withhold from believing) something. The second set, which dominates the debate about pragmatic encroachment on epistemic justification, is exemplified by cases where acting on a belief rashly risks some disastrous outcome if the belief turns (...)
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  • Moral Encroachment, Symmetry, and Believing Against the Evidence.Caroline von Klemperer - 2023 - Philosophical Studies (7).
    It is widely held that our beliefs can be epistemically faultless despite being morally flawed. Theories of moral encroachment challenge this, holding that moral considerations bear on the epistemic status of our attitudes. According to attitude-based theories of moral encroachment, morality encroaches upon the epistemic standing of our attitudes on the grounds that we can morally injure others with our epistemic practices. In this paper, I aim to show that current attitude-based theories have asymmetric mechanisms: moral features only make it (...)
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  • Rape Myths, Catastrophe, and Credibility.Emily C. R. Tilton - forthcoming - Episteme:1-17.
    There is an undeniable tendency to dismiss women’s sexual assault allegations out of hand. However, this tendency is not monolithic—allegations that black men have raped white women are often met with deadly seriousness. I argue that contemporary rape culture is characterized by the interplay between rape myths that minimize rape, and myths that catastrophize rape. Together, these two sets of rape myths distort the epistemic resources that people use when assessing rape allegations. These distortions result in the unjust exoneration of (...)
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  • #MeToo & the role of Outright Belief.Alexandra Lloyd - 2022 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 25 (2):181-197.
    In this paper, I provide an account of the wrong that is done to women when everyday people fail to believe allegations of sexual assault made by women. I argue that an everyday person wrongs both the accuser and women causally distant from the accuser when they fail to believe the accuser’s allegation. First, I argue that there are responses that we, as everyday members of society, owe to victims of sexual assault. A condition enabling everyday people to respond in (...)
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  • Contextual Injustice.Jonathan Ichikawa - 2020 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 30 (1):1–30.
    Contextualist treatments of clashes of intuitions can allow that two claims, apparently in conflict, can both be true. But making true utterances is far from the only thing that matters — there are often substantive normative questions about what contextual parameters are appropriate to a given conversational situation. This paper foregrounds the importance of the social power to set contextual standards, and how it relates to injustice and oppression, introducing a phenomenon I call "contextual injustice," which has to do with (...)
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  • Relevance and risk: How the relevant alternatives framework models the epistemology of risk.Georgi Gardiner - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):481-511.
    The epistemology of risk examines how risks bear on epistemic properties. A common framework for examining the epistemology of risk holds that strength of evidential support is best modelled as numerical probability given the available evidence. In this essay I develop and motivate a rival ‘relevant alternatives’ framework for theorising about the epistemology of risk. I describe three loci for thinking about the epistemology of risk. The first locus concerns consequences of relying on a belief for action, where those consequences (...)
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  • The Ethical Potential of Love in the Wake of Sexual Violence.Morgan Gagnon - 2021 - The Journal of Ethics 25 (4):429-448.
    The myth that sexual violence is perpetrated by strangers in dark alleyways has long since been debunked; the vast majority of sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the victim. This article examines how individuals and communities nevertheless experience epistemic and moral barriers when reacting to reports of sexual violence levelled against community members, friends, and loved ones. Love can, for example, cloud our moral and epistemic oughts when responding to sexual violence, through such avenues as mutual identity constitution (...)
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  • Normative Inference Tickets.Jen Foster & Jonathan Ichikawa - 2023 - Episteme:1-27.
    We argue that stereotypes associated with concepts like he-said–she-said, conspiracy theory, sexual harassment, and those expressed by paradigmatic slurs provide “normative inference tickets”: conceptual permissions to automatic, largely unreflective normative conclusions. These “mental shortcuts” are underwritten by associated stereotypes. Because stereotypes admit of exceptions, normative inference tickets are highly flexible and productive, but also liable to create serious epistemic and moral harms. Epistemically, many are unreliable, yielding false beliefs which resist counterexample; morally, many perpetuate bigotry and oppression. Still, some normative (...)
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  • Moral Encroachment and Positive Profiling.Lisa Cassell - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-21.
    Some claim that moral factors affect the epistemic status of our beliefs. Call this the moral encroachment thesis. It’s been argued that the moral encroachment thesis can explain at least part of the wrongness of racial profiling. The thesis predicts that the high moral stakes in cases of racial profiling make it more difficult for these racist beliefs to be justified or to constitute knowledge. This paper considers a class of racial generalizations that seem to do just the opposite of (...)
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  • Varieties of Moral Encroachment.Renée Jorgensen Bolinger - 2020 - Philosophical Perspectives 34 (1):5-26.
    Several authors have recently suggested that moral factors and norms `encroach' on the epistemic, and because of salient parallels to pragmatic encroachment views in epistemology, these suggestions have been dubbed `moral encroachment views'. This paper distinguishes between variants of the moral encroachment thesis, pointing out how they address different problems, are motivated by different considerations, and are not all subject to the same objections. It also explores how the family of moral encroachment views compare to classical pragmatic encroachment accounts.
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  • Morality of Belief I: How Beliefs Wrong.Rima Basu - 2023 - Philosophy Compass (7):1-10.
    It is no surprise that we should be careful when it comes to what we believe. Believing false things can be costly. The morality of belief, also known as doxastic wronging, takes things a step further by suggesting that certain beliefs can not only be costly, they can also wrong. This article surveys some accounts of how this could be so. That is, how beliefs wrong.
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  • Metasemantic ethics.Derek Ball - 2020 - Ratio 33 (4):206-219.
    The idea that experts (especially scientific experts) play a privileged role in determining the meanings of our words and the contents of our concepts has become commonplace since the work of Hilary Putnam, Tyler Burge, and others in the 1970s. But if experts have the power to determine what our words mean, they can do so responsibly or irresponsibly, from good motivations or bad, justly or unjustly, with good or bad effects. This paper distinguishes three families of metasemantic views based (...)
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  • Defining Wokeness.J. Spencer Atkins - 2023 - Social Epistemology 37 (3):321-338.
    ABSTRACT Rima Basu and I have offered separate accounts of wokeness as an anti-racist ethical concept. Our accounts endorse controversial doctrines in epistemology: doxastic wronging, doxastic voluntarism, and moral encroachment. Many philosophers deny these three views, favoring instead some ordinary standards for epistemic justification. I call this denial the standard view. In this paper, I offer an account of wokeness that is consistent with the standard view. I argue that wokeness is best understood as ‘group epistemic partiality’. The woke person (...)
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  • From knowledge to violence: the epistemic dimension of sexual violence testimony.Aurora Georgina Bustos Arellano - 2022 - Estudios de Filosofía (Universidad de Antioquia) 66:289-310.
    The aim of this article is to highlight the epistemic dimension present in the testimony of victims of sexual violence, which takes place through various mechanisms of epistemic injustice, whether testimonial or hermeneutic. In order to show the effects of the relation between epistemic wrongs and sexual violence, I focus on some cases of sexual injustice in Mexican society which support the contention that the systematic recurrence of sexual violence and epistemic injustices lead to a particular form of epistemic dehumanization.
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  • Epistemic Contextualism and the Sociality of Knowledge.Jonathan Ichikawa - forthcoming - In Jennifer Lackey & Aidan McGlynn (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Social Epistemology. Oxford University Press.
    This chapter has four central aims. First, in §1, I distinguish two ideas within epistemology that sometimes travel under the name ‘contextualism’ — the ‘situational contextualist’ idea that an individual’s context, especially their social context, can make for a difference in what they know, and the ‘linguistic contextualist’ idea that discourse using the word ‘knows’ and its cognates is context-sensitive, expressing dif- ferent contents in different conversational contexts. -/- Second, in §2, I situate contextualism with respect to several influential ideas (...)
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  • #BelieveWomen and the Ethics of Belief.Renee Bolinger - forthcoming - In NOMOS LXIV: Truth and Evidence. New York:
    ​I evaluate a suggestion, floated by Kimberly Ferzan (this volume), that the twitter hashtag campaign #BelieveWomen is best accommodated by non-reductionist views of testimonial justification. I argue that the issue is ultimately one about the ethical obligation to trust women, rather than a question of what grounds testimonial justification. I also suggest that the hashtag campaign does not simply assert that ‘we should trust women’, but also militates against a pernicious striking-property generic (roughly: ‘women make false sexual assault accusations’), that (...)
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