Epistemic injustice: Power and the ethics of knowing * by Miranda Fricker [Book Review]

Analysis 69 (2):380-382 (2009)
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Abstract

Miranda Fricker's book Epistemic Injustice is an original and stimulating contribution to contemporary epistemology. Fricker's main aim is to illustrate the ethical aspects of two of our basic epistemic practices, namely conveying knowledge to others and making sense of our own social experiences. In particular, she wishes to investigate the idea that there are prevalent and distinctively epistemic forms of injustice related to these aspects of our epistemic lives, injustices which reflect the fact that our actual epistemic practices are socially situated. Most of the book focuses on two such forms – Testimonial Injustice and Hermeneutical Injustice – and on the epistemic virtues required to counteract them.Testimonial Injustice occurs when a hearer fails, because of prejudice, to give due credit to the word of a speaker. For instance, in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, the jury in the trial of Tom Robinson fail to regard his testimony as credible because he …

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