Testimonial Injustice and Mindreading

Hypatia 31 (4):858-873 (2016)

Krista Hyde
Saint Louis University
Miranda Fricker maintains that testimonial responsibility is the proper corrective to testimonial injustice. She proposes a perceptual-like “testimonial sensibility” to explain the transmission of knowledge through testimony. This sensibility is the means by which a hearer perceives an interlocutor's credibility level. When prejudice causes a hearer to inappropriately deflate the credibility attributed to a speaker, the sensibility may have functioned unreliably. Testimonial responsibility, she claims, will make the capacity reliable by reinflating credibility levels to their proper degree. I argue that testimonial sensitivity may be or involve “mindreading,” the cognitive capacity by which we predict human behavior and explain it in terms of mental states. Further, I claim that, if testimonial sensibility is or involves mindreading, and mindreading is a function of brain processes, testimonial injustice cannot be corrected by testimonial responsibility. This is because 1) it appears to rely on conscious awareness of prejudice, whereas much bias occurs implicitly, and 2) it works at the individual level, whereas testimonial injustice occurs both individually and socially. I argue that the remedy for testimonial injustice is, instead, engaging in social efforts that work below the level of consciousness.
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DOI 10.1111/hypa.12273
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References found in this work BETA

Simulating Minds: The Philosophy, Psychology, and Neuroscience of Mindreading.Amy Coplan - 2008 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 66 (1):94-97.
Conceptualizing Epistemic Oppression.Kristie Dotson - 2014 - Social Epistemology 28 (2):115-138.

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The Problem of Other Minds.Katherine Tullmann - 2019 - Metaphilosophy 50 (5):708-728.

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