Social Media, Trust, and the Epistemology of Prejudice

Social Epistemology 30 (5-6):513-531 (2016)
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Ignorance of one’s privileges and prejudices is an epistemic problem. While the sources of ignorance of privilege and prejudice are increasingly understood, less clarity exists about how to remedy ignorance. In fact, the various causes of ignorance can seem so powerful, various, and mutually reinforcing that studying the epistemology of ignorance can inspire pessimism about combatting socially constructed ignorance. I argue that this pessimism is unwarranted. The testimony of members of oppressed groups can often help members of privileged groups overcome their ignorance. This paper argues that a particular type of speaker’s trust—hopeful trust—can motivate hearers to become cognizant of their privilege and prejudice. I argue that hopeful trust is a powerful way of eliciting trust-responsiveness that can be an effective mechanism for challenging privilege and prejudice. To make this case, I draw on case studies of online attempts to challenge ignorance. While the problems of testimonial injustice, defensi...



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Karen Frost-Arnold
Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Citations of this work

Exploitative Epistemic Trust.Katherine Dormandy - 2020 - In Trust in Epistemology. New York City, New York, Vereinigte Staaten: pp. 241-264.
Faith and epistemology.Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa - 2020 - Episteme 17 (1):121-140.
Feminist social epistemology.Heidi Grasswick - 2006 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Defensiveness and Identity.Y. A. P. Audrey & Jonathan Ichikawa - forthcoming - Journal of the American Philosophical Association:1-20.

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References found in this work

White Ignorance.Charles W. Mills - 2007 - In Shannon Sullivan & Nancy Tuana (eds.), Race and Epistemologies of Ignorance. Albany, NY: State Univ of New York Pr. pp. 11-38.
Responsibility for Implicit Bias.Jules Holroyd - 2012 - Journal of Social Philosophy 43 (3):274-306.
Deciding to trust, coming to believe.Richard Holton - 1994 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 72 (1):63 – 76.
Trust, hope and empowerment.Victoria McGeer - 2008 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (2):237 – 254.

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