Defensiveness and Identity

Journal of the American Philosophical Association:1-20 (2023)
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Criticism can sometimes provoke defensive reactions, particularly when it implicates identities people hold dear. For instance, feminists told they are upholding rape culture might become angry or upset, since the criticism conflicts with an identity that is important to them. These kinds of defensive reactions are a primary focus of this paper. What is it to be defensive in this way, and why do some kinds of criticism, or implied criticism, tend to provoke this kind of response? What are the connections between defensiveness, identity, and active ignorance? What are the social, political, and epistemic consequences of the tendency to defensiveness? Are there ways to improve the situation?

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Author Profiles

Jonathan Ichikawa
University of British Columbia
Audrey Yap
University of Victoria

Citations of this work

Epistemic Courage.Jonathan Ichikawa - 2024 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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References found in this work

Echo chambers and epistemic bubbles.C. Thi Nguyen - 2020 - Episteme 17 (2):141-161.
The Imperative of Integration.Elizabeth Anderson - 2010 - Princeton University Press.
Conceptualizing Epistemic Oppression.Kristie Dotson - 2014 - Social Epistemology 28 (2):115-138.
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.
The Aptness of Anger.Amia Srinivasan - 2018 - Journal of Political Philosophy 26 (2):123-144.

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