Social Epistemology 33 (2):111-123 (2019)

Carolyn Cusick
California State University, Fresno
Human beings as objects, and we are objects inter alia, offer information, even knowledge. And yet, in a society marked by pervasive identity prejudice, even objects do not offer neutral facts. Here, I argue that the harms imposed on those who suffer testimonial injustices cannot be sufficiently understood through the ethical lens of objectification. Such persons are not simply objectified, not simply treated as mere sources of information rather than as informants. Even as objects (not mere objects), they are often unable to testify on their own behalf or testify to true facts of the matter. Rather than follow Miranda Fricker’s argument that testimonial injustices are acts of objectification, I argue that they are better understood as acts of what Ann Cahill calls derivatization. A re-examination of Fricker’s account of the wrong of testimonial injustice as derivatizing rather than objectifying clarifies the wrong of epistemic injustice, reinforces the mutuality of testimonial exchanges where both the speaker and listener are actively engaged and obligated to participate well to succeed, and opens up a discussion of how even when being treated as a source of information, informants can be mistreated.
Keywords Epistemic injustice  testimonial injustice  derivatization  objectification
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Reprint years 2019
DOI 10.1080/02691728.2019.1577919
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References found in this work BETA

Epistemic Dependence.John Hardwig - 1985 - Journal of Philosophy 82 (7):335-349.
Epistemic Injustice and Illness.Ian James Kidd & Havi Carel - 2017 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 34 (2):172-190.
Objectification.Martha C. Nussbaum - 1995 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 24 (4):249-291.

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Testimonial Injustice and Mutual Recognition.Lindsay Crawford - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.

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