A Third Conception of Epistemic Injustice

Studies in Philosophy and Education 40 (4):381-398 (2021)
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Scholars of epistemology have identified two conceptions of epistemic injustice: discriminatory epistemic injustice and distributive epistemic injustice. The former refers to wrongs to one’s capacity as a knower that are the result of identity prejudice. The latter refers to violations of one’s right to know what one is entitled to know. This essay advances a third conception, formative epistemic injustice, which refers to wrongs to one’s capacity as a knower that are the result of or result in malformation—the undue restriction of one’s formative capacities. The author argues that formative epistemic injustice is a distinctly educational wrong and that it brings to light important epistemic injustices that standard accounts of epistemic injustice either downplay or are unable to capture. This third conception of epistemic injustice is an important analytic tool for theorizing both epistemic injustice and educational justice.



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