II—What Should ‘Impostor Syndrome’ Be?

Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 93 (1):227-245 (2019)
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In her thought-provoking symposium contribution, ‘What Is Impostor Syndrome?’, Katherine Hawley fleshes out our everyday understanding of that concept. This response builds on Hawley’s account to ask the ameliorative question of whether the everyday concept best serves the normative goals of promoting social justice and enhancing well-being. I raise some sceptical worries about the usefulness of the notion, in so far as it is centred on doxastic attitudes that include doubt about one’s own talent or skill. I propose instead that a narrower conception emphasizing the debilitating emotional and behavioural consequences of such beliefs might be preferable, and that the causes of such consequences would be better thought of as unjustified rather than false beliefs about one’s own competence.



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Sarah Paul
New York University, Abu Dhabi

Citations of this work

Imposter Syndrome and Self-Deception.Stephen Gadsby - 2021 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-12.
Plan B.Sarah K. Paul - 2022 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 100 (3):550-564.
Imposter Syndrome and Self-Deception.Stephen Gadsby - 2022 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 100 (2):247-261.
Maladjustment.Michaela McSweeney - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 180 (3):843-869.

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References found in this work

Change in View: Principles of Reasoning.Gilbert Harman - 1986 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
The theory of epistemic rationality.Richard Foley - 1987 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

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