Hypatia 29 (2):422-439 (2014)

Jeffrey Epstein
Palomar College
Jürgen Habermas's recent challenge to secular citizens calling for greater inclusivity of religious justifications in the public sphere opens new epistemological debates that could benefit from the rich insights of feminist epistemologists. Despite certain theoretical tensions, there is some common ground between Habermas and recent work in feminist epistemology. Specifically, this article explores the shared interests between Habermas and one feminist theorist in particular, Miranda Fricker. I choose Fricker because her formulation of the epistemological and ethical hybrid virtues of testimonial justice and hermeneutical justice provide efficacious theoretical and practical tools capable of deepening the epistemological basis of Habermas's challenge to secular citizens. After a detailed analysis of Habermas's and Fricker's respective epistemological positions, I argue that Fricker's analysis provides a rich framework for thinking through questions of power, identity, and credibility with respect to religious justifications in the public sphere. In conclusion, this article emphasizes the importance of fostering more robust and just epistemic communities capable of countering the social, political, and ethical injustices of epistemic disauthorization and marginalization.
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DOI 10.1111/hypa.12035
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