Credibility Excess and the Social Imaginary in Cases of Sexual Assault

Feminist Philosophy Quarterly 3 (4):1-24 (2017)
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Open Access: This paper will connect literature on epistemic injustice with literature on victims and perpetrators, to argue that in addition to considering the credibility deficit suffered by many victims, we should also consider the credibility excess accorded to many perpetrators. Epistemic injustice, as discussed by Miranda Fricker, considers ways in which someone might be wronged in their capacity as a knower. Testimonial injustice occurs when there is a credibility deficit as a result of identity-prejudicial stereotypes. However, criticisms of Fricker have pointed out that credibility is part of a more complex system that includes both deficits and excesses. I will use these points to argue that we should look closer at sources of credibility excess in cases of sexual assault. This means that in addition to considering sources of victim blaming by looking at ways in which “ideal” victims are constructed, we also need to consider ways in which “ideal” perpetrators are constructed.



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Audrey Yap
University of Victoria

Citations of this work

Hermeneutical Injustice.Arianna Falbo - forthcoming - In Kurt Sylvan, Ernest Sosa, Jonathan Dancy & Matthias Steup (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Epistemology, 3rd edition. Wiley Blackwell.
When Artists Fall: Honoring and Admiring the Immoral.Alfred Archer & Benjamin Matheson - 2019 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 5 (2):246-265.
Epistemic Courage.Jonathan Ichikawa - 2024 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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References found in this work

The puzzle of imaginative resistance.Tamar Szabó Gendler - 2000 - Journal of Philosophy 97 (2):55-81.
The Puzzle of Imaginative Resistance.Tamar Szabó Gendler - 2000 - Journal of Philosophy 97 (2):55.
Narrative explanation.J. David Velleman - 2003 - Philosophical Review 112 (1):1-25.

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