Hermeneutical injustice occurs when there is a gap in the interpretive resources available to members of a society due to the marginalization of members of a social group from sense‐making practices. In this paper, I address two questions about hermeneutical injustice that are undertheorized in the recent literature: (1) what do we mean when we say that someone lacks the interpretive resources for making sense of an experience? and (2) how do marginalized individuals develop interpretive resources? In response (...) to (1), I argue that to lack interpretive resources is to lack conceptual skill or know how. In response to (2), I draw on resources from Gilbert Ryle and Andy Clark and provide a model of how marginalized individuals develop new conceptual skills by naming their shared experience and using it as a tool for scaffolding each other's conceptual performance. At the same time, I draw on the work of Gaile Pohlhaus and Kristie Dotson to show how these practices succeed only through the redistribution of epistemic power across differently situated social groups. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: 1. Radical injustice; 2. Which injustices? What groups?; 3. Enduring injustice; 4. Apology and acknowledgement; 5. Legitimacy and the cast of history; 6. Elusive justice; 7. A chastened liberalism.
Reflection on the historical injustice suffered by many formerly colonized groups has left us with a peculiar account of their claims to material objects. One important upshot of that account, relevant to present day justice, is that many people seem to think that members of indigenous groups have special claims to the use of particular external objects by virtue of their attachment to them. In the first part of this paper I argue against that attachment-based claim. In the second (...) part I suggest that, to provide a normatively defensible account of why sometimes agents who are attached to certain external objects might also have special claims over them, the most important consideration is whether the agents making such claims suffer from structural injustice in the present. In the third part I try to explain why structural injustice matters, in what way attachment-based claims relate to it and when they count. (shrink)
We observed that despite international declarations on child-rights, outsourced domestic girl-child labour still persists. Raising the question whether outsourced domestic girl-child labour constitutes hermeneutical injustice, we respond affirmatively. Relying on two indigenous victimology-narratives that are newspaper reports, we expose some of the horrors that the victims of outsourced domestic girl-child labour suffer. Comparing these reports with other victimology-narratives of hermeneutical injustice as reported by Miranda Fricker and Hilkje Hänel, we argue that the victims of outsourced domestic girl-child labour (...) suffer a hermeneutical gap and hermeneutical interference; and that the perpetuators of this practice, help to foster what we call ‘hermeneutical obstruction’. We recommend different counteracting measures such as: a radical feminization of educational curricula, which will allow for the introduction of the relevant hermeneutical resources that female children need in making sense of their experiences, into the classrooms and other places of learning; establishing feminist liberation agencies in all schools, religious institutions and hospitals, as ways of increasing the level of awareness about the rights of the girl-child in children and adults; feminizing legislation and legislative processes, to allow for the enactment of laws to protect the rights of the girl-child; and campaigning for a more rigorous enforcement of child-rights laws. (shrink)
This article analyses the phenomenon of epistemic injustice within contemporary healthcare. We begin by detailing the persistent complaints patients make about their testimonial frustration and hermeneutical marginalization, and the negative impact this has on their care. We offer an epistemic analysis of this problem using Miranda Fricker's account of epistemic injustice. We detail two types of epistemic injustice, testimonial and hermeneutical, and identify the negative stereotypes and structural features of modern healthcare practices that generate them. We claim (...) that these stereotypes and structural features render ill persons especially vulnerable to these two types of epistemic injustice. We end by proposing five avenues for further work on epistemic injustice in healthcare. (shrink)
Structural Injustice advances a theory of what structural injustice is and how it works. Powers and Faden present both a philosophically powerful, integrated theory about human rights violations and structural unfairness, alongside practical insights into how to improve them.
This chapter defends the view that manipulated behaviour is explained by an injustice. Injustices that explain manipulated behaviour need not involve agential features such as intentionality. Therefore, technology can manipulate us, even if technological artefacts like robots, intelligent software agents, or other ‘mere tools’ lack agential features such as intentionality. The chapter thus sketches a comprehensive account of manipulated behaviour related to but distinct from existing accounts of manipulative behaviour. It then builds on that account to defend the possibility (...) that we are being manipulated by technology. (shrink)
Why does social injustice exist? What role, if any, do implicit biases play in the perpetuation of social inequalities? Individualistic approaches to these questions explain social injustice as the result of individuals’ preferences, beliefs, and choices. For example, they explain racial injustice as the result of individuals acting on racial stereotypes and prejudices. In contrast, structural approaches explain social injustice in terms of beyond-the-individual features, including laws, institutions, city layouts, and social norms. Often these two approaches (...) are seen as competitors. Framing them as competitors suggests that only one approach can win and that the loser offers worse explanations of injustice. In this essay, we explore each approach and compare them. Using implicit bias as an example, we argue that the relationship between individualistic and structural approaches is more complicated than it may first seem. Moreover, we contend that each approach has its place in analyses of injustice and raise the possibility that they can work together—synergistically—to produce deeper explanations of social injustice. If so, the approaches may be complementary, rather than competing. (shrink)
Recent feminist philosophy of language has highlighted the ways that the speech of women can be unjustly impeded, because of the way their gender affects the uptake their speech receives. In this chapter, I explore how similar processes can undermine the speech of a different sort of speaker: Indigenous communities. This involves focusing on Indigeneity rather than gender as the salient social identity, and looking at the ways that group speech, rather than only individual speech, can be unjustly impeded. To (...) do this, I make use of the notion of ‘discursive injustice’ that has been developed by Quill Kukla, and, with reference to three case studies, show how discursive injustice can effectively derail the speech of Indigenous communities. (shrink)
This chapter charts various ways that religious persons and groups can be perpetrators and victims of epistemic injustice. The practices of testifying and interpreting experiences take a range of distinctive forms in religious life, for instance, if the testimonial practices require a special sort of religious accomplishment, such as enlightenment, or if proper understanding of religious experiences is only available to those with authentic faith. But it is also clear that religious communities and traditions have been sources of epistemic (...)injustice, for instance, by conjoining epistemic and spiritual credibility in ways disadvantageous to ‘deviant’ groups. I focus mainly on the major monotheistic religions, culturally dominant in the modern West. (shrink)
In this paper, I present an analysis of the “windows into reality” that are used in theories of global justice with a focus on issues of epistemic injustice and the powerlessness of the global poor. I argue that we should aim for a better understanding of global poverty through acknowledging people living in poverty as epistemic subjects. To achieve this, we need to deepen and broaden the knowledge base of theories of global justice and approach the subject through methodologies (...) of “thinking small” and “thick descriptions”, which are ways to give people living in poverty sufficient room to express themselves and have their voices heard, leading to “small” and “thick” knowledge claims. (shrink)
Much of the recent work on the nature of testimonial injustice holds that a hearer who fails to accord sufficient credibility to a speaker’s testimony, owing to identity prejudice, can thereby wrong that speaker. What is it to wrong someone in this way? This paper offers an account of the wrong at the heart of testimonial injustice that locates it in a failure of interpersonal justifiability. On the account I develop, one that draws directly from T. M. Scanlon’s (...) moral contractualist framework, a hearer who fails to accord sufficient credibility to a speaker, owing to identity prejudice, cannot justify his response to that speaker, insofar as the speaker can reasonably reject principles that would permit the hearer to prejudicially discount the speaker’s testimony. I argue that my account can better illuminate the idea, shared among many philosophers, that testimonial injustice centrally involves some kind of failure, on the hearer’s part, to appropriately recognize the speaker. In contractualist terms, this consists in a failure of mutual recognition—a failure to acknowledge the speaker as having standing to co-determine the terms on which the hearer and speaker, as epistemic agents, are to engage with each other in testimonial exchanges. (shrink)
This paper argues that underlying social biases are able to affect the processes underlying linguistic interpretation. The result is a series of harms systematically inflicted on marginalised speakers. It is also argued that the role of biases and stereotypes in interpretation complicates Miranda Fricker's proposed solution to epistemic injustice.
Contextualist treatments of clashes of intuitions can allow that two claims, apparently in conflict, can both be true. But making true utterances is far from the only thing that matters — there are often substantive normative questions about what contextual parameters are appropriate to a given conversational situation. This paper foregrounds the importance of the social power to set contextual standards, and how it relates to injustice and oppression, introducing a phenomenon I call "contextual injustice," which has to (...) do with the unjust manipulation of conversational parameters in context-sensitive discourse. My central example applies contextualism about knowledge ascriptions to questions about knowledge regarding sexual assault allegations, but I will also discuss parallel dynamics in other examples of context-sensitive language involving politically significant terms, including gender terms. The central upshot is that the connections between language, epistemology, and social justice are very deeply interlinked. (shrink)
This paper explores the issue of epistemic injustice in research evaluation. Through an analysis of the disciplinary cultures of physics and humanities, we attempt to identify some aims and values specific to the disciplinary areas. We suggest that credibility is at stake when the cultural values and goals of a discipline contradict those presupposed by official evaluation standards. Disciplines that are better aligned with the epistemic assumptions of evaluation standards appear to produce more "scientific" findings. To restore epistemic justice (...) in research evaluation, we argue that the specificity of a discipline's epistemic aims, values, and cultural identities must be taken into account. (shrink)
Hermeneutical injustices, according to Miranda Fricker, are injustices that occur “when a gap in collective interpretive resources puts someone at an unfair disadvantage when it comes to making sense of their social experiences” (Fricker 2007, 1). For Fricker, the relevant injustice in these cases is the very lack of knowledge and understanding experienced by the subject. In this way, hermeneutical injustices are instances of epistemic injustices, the kind of injustice that “wrongs someone in their capacity as a subject (...) of knowledge” (Fricker 2007, 5). In this paper, however, I identify different means by which our hermeneutic activities lead to social injustices, of both a practical and epistemic kind, and I identify different ways in which those injustices manifest themselves. Since Fricker’s use of the notion of “hermeneutical injustices” to denote a well-defined kind of injustice is rightfully well-established, I here refer to the more general kinds of injustices I have in mind as “hermeneutic injustices” instead. (shrink)
This book aims to help answer two questions that Western philosophy has paid relatively little attention to - what is injustice and what does justice require when injustice occurs? Injustice and Rectification offers a taxonomy of justice, which sets forth an initial framework for a moral theory of justice and focuses on framing a conception of rectificatory justice. The taxonomy is ground for this book's eleven other essays, in which a diverse group of authors brings philosophical analysis (...) to bear on the idea of injustice itself and on some important conceptual and normative issues concerning the rectification of injustice. (shrink)
Epistemic injustice is a harm done to a person in their capacity as an epistemic subject by undermining her capacity to engage in epistemic practices such as giving knowledge to others or making sense of one’s experiences. It has been argued that those who suffer from medical conditions are more vulnerable to epistemic injustice than the healthy. This paper claims that people with mental disorders are even more vulnerable to epistemic injustice than those with somatic illnesses. Two (...) kinds of contributory factors for epistemic injustice in psychiatric patients are outlined: global and specific. Some suggestions are made to counteract the effects of these contributory factors, for instance we suggest that physicians should participate in groups where the subjective experience of patients is explored, and learn to become more aware of their own unconscious prejudices towards psychiatric patients. (shrink)
In this paper we argue that ill persons are particularly vulnerable to epistemic injustice in the sense articulated by Fricker. Ill persons are vulnerable to testimonial injustice through the presumptive attribution of characteristics like cognitive unreliability and emotional instability that downgrade the credibility of their testimonies. Ill persons are also vulnerable to hermeneutical injustice because many aspects of the experience of illness are difficult to understand and communicate and this often owes to gaps in collective hermeneutical resources. (...) We then argue that epistemic injustice arises in part owing to the epistemic privilege enjoyed by the practitioners and institutions of contemporary healthcare services—the former owing to their training, expertise, and third-person psychology, and the latter owing to their implicit privileging of certain styles of articulating and evidencing testimonies in ways that marginalise ill persons. We suggest that a phenomenological toolkit may be part of an effort to ameliorate epistemic injustice. (shrink)
Communities often respond to traumatic events in their histories by destroying objects that would cue memories of a past they wish to forget and by building artefacts which memorialize a new version of their history. Hence, it would seem, communities cope with change by spreading memory ignorance so to allow new memories to take root. This chapter offers an account of some aspects of this phenomenon and of its epistemological consequences. Specifically, it is demonstrated in this chapter that collective forgetfulness (...) is harmful. Here, the focus is exclusively on the harms caused by its contribution to undermining the intellectual self-trust of some members of the community. Further, since some of these harms are also wrongs, collective amnesia contributes to causing epistemic injustices. (shrink)
Although previous treatments of affective injustice have identified some particular types of affective injustice, the general concept of affective injustice remains unclear. This article proposes a novel articulation of this general concept, according to which affective injustice is defined as a state in which individuals or groups are deprived of “affective goods” which are owed to them. On this basis, I sketch an approach to the philosophical investigation of affective injustice that begins by establishing which (...) affective goods are fundamental, and then considers which subsidiary goods—such as freedoms, resources, opportunities, and forms of recognition—may be necessary for the provision of those fundamental affective goods. Drawing from and developing ideas in the extant literature, I argue that two such fundamental affective goods include subjective well-being and emotional aptness. I then show that by analyzing deprivations of the subsidiary goods that enable a person to pursue and attain subjective well-being and emotional aptness, it is possible to shed new light on the cases of affective injustice that have been described in the extant literature, while also identifying other kinds of cases that have not been theorized to the same extent. (shrink)
My aim is to argue that forgiveness may be conceived by analogy to healing. The analogy is not self-evident, but a number of subsidiary analogies will be seen to point in its direction, or so I will argue. In the course of the discussion we shall see how injustice (and wrong-doing) may be compared to physical injury (both change the state of the sufferer to the worse), and how the resentment caused by suffering injustice may be compared to (...) the physical pain caused by injury (both are aversive, action-motivating states). The analogies will be illustrated and supported by concrete examples, ultimately suggesting that, in an important sense, when we forgive, we actually heal. (shrink)
This chapter has two aims. First, I distinguish between two forms of testimonial injustice: identity-based testimonial injustice and content-based testimonial injustice. Second, I utilize this distinction to develop a partial explanation for the persistent lack of diverse practitioners in academic philosophy. Specifically, I argue that both identity-based and content-based testimonial injustice are prevalent in philosophical discourse and that this prevalence introduces barriers to participation for those targeted. As I show, the dual and compounding effects of identity-based (...) and content-based testimonial injustice in philosophy plausibly contribute to a lack of diversity in the social identities of practitioners and the discourses in which practitioners are engaged. (shrink)
This paper defends a novel view of hermeneutical epistemic injustice. To this effect, it starts by arguing that Miranda Fricker’s account is too restrictive: hermeneutical epistemic injustice is more ubiquitous than her account allows. That is because, contra Fricker, conceptual ignorance is not necessary for HEI: hermeneutical epistemic injustice essentially involves a failure in concept application rather than in concept possession. Further on, I unpack hermeneutical epistemic injustice as unjustly brought about basing failure. Last, I show (...) that, if this view right, HEI is a form of distributive injustice, and affords the corresponding traditional normative theorising. (shrink)
Sometimes ordinary disagreements become deep as a result of epistemic injustice. The paper explores a hitherto unnoticed connection between two phenomena that have received ample attention in recent social epistemology: deep disagreement and epistemic injustice. When epistemic injustice comes into play in a regular disagreement, this can lead to higher-order disagreement about what counts as evidence concerning the original disagreement, which deepens the disagreement. After considering a common definition of deep disagreement, it is proposed that the depth (...) of disagreements is best understood as a matter of degree. Then, a case study of real-life disagreement is introduced: the disagreement about whether racism is a significant issue in the Netherlands, illustrated by the tradition of ‘Black Pete’. It is argued that there is disagreement about what counts as evidence in the case study because of two forms of epistemic injustice: testimonial and hermeneutical injustice. Specifically, there is disagreement about epistemic principles concerning whether private first-personal experience of racism is a weighty source of evidence in this domain, whether victims of racism count as important testifiers in this domain, and how to assess testimony that is not intelligible to you because it employs concepts and terminology you are unfamiliar with. By dismissing the relevant testimony and epistemic resources, the disagreement boils down to disagreement on the level of epistemic principles concerning,, and. Introducinginjustice-based deep disagreementhighlights moral and political aspects of disagreements that might seem factual. (shrink)
Miranda Fricker’s account of hermeneutical injustice and remedies for this injustice are widely debated. This article adds to the existing debate by arguing that theories of recog- nition can fruitfully contribute to Fricker’s account of hermeneutical injustice and can provide a framework for structural remedy. By pairing Fricker’s theory of hermeneutical injustice with theories of recognition, I bring forward a modest claim and a more radical claim. The first concerns a shift in our vocabulary; recognition theory (...) can give a name to the seriousness of the long-term effects of hermeneutical injustice. The second claim is more radical: thinking of hermeneutical injustice as preventing what I call “self-recogni- tion” provides a structural remedy to the phenomenon of hermeneutical injustice. Because hermeneutical injustice is first and foremost a structural injustice, I contend that every virtue theory of hermeneutical justice should be complemented by structural remedies in terms of recognition. Finally, what I argue sheds light on the seriousness of cases of exclusion of and discrimination against women in academia and helps to draw our attention to new ways to combat such problems. (shrink)
David Lyons challenges us to confront grave injustices committed in the United States, from the colonists' encroachments on Indian lands to slavery and the legacy of racism. He calls upon legal and political theorists to take these social wrongs seriously in their approaches to moral obligation under law and the justification of civil disobedience.
The practice of Emergency Management in Michigan raises anew the question of whose knowledge matters to whom and for what reasons, against the background of what projects, challenges, and systemic imperatives. In this paper, I offer a historical overview of state intervention laws across the United States, focusing specifically on Michigan’s Emergency Manager laws. I draw on recent analyses of these laws to develop an account of a phenomenon that I call epistemic redlining, which, I suggest, is a form of (...) group-based credibility discounting not readily countenanced by existing, ‘culprit-based’ accounts of epistemic injustice. I argue that epistemic redlining plays a crucial role in ongoing projects of racialized subordination and dispossession in Michigan, and that such discounting tends to have structural causes that can be difficult to identify and uproot. Contrary to the general thrust of recent work on the topic, I argue that epistemic redlining ought to be understood as a form of epistemic injustice. (shrink)
This article develops a new approach for theorizing about hermeneutical injustice. According to a dominant view, hermeneutical injustice results from a hermeneutical gap: one lacks the conceptual tools needed to make sense of, or to communicate, important social experience, where this lack is a result of an injustice in the background social methods used to determine hermeneutical resources. I argue that this approach is incomplete. It fails to capture an important species of hermeneutical injustice which doesn’t (...) result from a lack of hermeneutical resources, but from the overabundance of distorting and oppressive concepts which function to crowd-out, defeat, or preempt the application of a more accurate hermeneutical resource. I propose a broader analysis that better respects the dynamic relationship between hermeneutical resources and the social and political contexts in which they are implemented. (shrink)
Suppose a jury rejects a Black defendant’s testimony because they believe that Black people are often untrustworthy. Or suppose the male members of a board reject a female colleague’s suggestions because they believe that women are too often irrational. Imagine also a woman whose postpartum depression is dismissed by her doctor as mere ‘baby blues.’ All these three people suffer what contemporary English philosopher Miranda Fricker calls epistemic injustice. Epistemic injustice refers to a wrong done to someone as (...) a knower or transmitter of knowledge: due to unjustified prejudice, someone is unfairly judged to not have the knowledge or reasonable beliefs that they actually have. Fricker identifies two forms of epistemic injustice: testimonial and hermeneutical. This essay explains these forms of epistemic injustice and surveys some suggestions for how to prevent them. (shrink)
There are many situations and policies that strike us as unjust and make us look for alternatives. Yet in the absence of a clear definition, we may end up by equating injustice with everything that is evil in the world.
The aim of this paper is to adapt Miranda Fricker’s concept of testimonial injustice to cases of what I call “argumentative injustice”: those cases where an arguer’s social identity brings listeners to place too much or little credibility in an argument. My recommendation is to adopt a stance of “metadistrust”—we ought to distrust our inclinations to trust or distrust members of stereotyped groups.
In this paper, I argue that recent discussions of culprit-based epistemic injustices can be framed around the intellectual character virtue of open-mindedness. In particular, these injustices occur because the people who commit them are closed-minded in some respect; the injustices can therefore be remedied through the cultivation of the virtue of open-mindedness. Describing epistemic injustices this way has two explanatory benefits: it yields a more parsimonious account of the phenomenon of epistemic injustice and it provides the underpinning of a (...) virtue-theoretical structure by which to explain what it is that perpetrators are culpable for and how virtues can have normative explanatory power. (shrink)
In this article, I identify a distinctive form of injustice—ontic injustice—in which an individual is wronged by the very fact of being socially constructed as a member of a certain social kind. To be a member of a certain social kind is, at least in part, to be subject to certain social constraints and enablements, and these constraints and enablements can be wrongful to the individual who is subjected to them, in the sense that they inflict a moral (...) injury. The concept of ontic injustice is valuable in three main ways: it draws our attention to the role played by social kinds in enacting wrongful constraints and enablements; it clarifies our options for developing accounts of the ontology of particular social kinds, such as gender kinds; and, along with the related concept of ‘ontic oppression’, it helps us to understand and respond to oppression. (shrink)
My aim in this article is to propose that an insightful way of articulating the feminist concept of epistemic injustice can be provided by paying significant attention to recognition theory. The article intends to provide an account for diagnosing epistemic injustice as a social pathology and also attempts to paint a picture of some social cure of structural forms of epistemic injustice. While there are many virtues to the literature on epistemic injustice, epistemic exclusion and silencing, (...) current discourse on diagnosing as well as explicating and overcoming these social pathologies can be improved and enriched by bringing recognition theory into the conversation: under recognition theory, social normative standards are constructed out of the moral grammar of recognition attributions. I shall argue that the failure to properly recognize and afford somebody or a social group the epistemic respect they merit is an act of injustice in the sense of depriving individuals of a progressive social environment i... (shrink)
A new, provocative study of the ethical, political, and social meanings of the everyday voice. Utilising the framework of feminist philosophy, authors Ann J. Cahill and Christine Hamel approach the phenomenon of voice as a lived, sonorous and embodied experience marked by the social structures that surround it, including systemic forms of injustice such as ableism, sexism, racism, and classism. By developing novel theoretical constructs such as "intervocality" and "respiratory responsibility," Cahill and Hamel cut through the static between theory (...) and praxis and put forward exciting theories on how human vocal sound can perpetuate -- and challenge -- persistent inequalities. Sounding Bodies presents a powerful model of how the seemingly disparate disciplines of philosophy and voice/speech training can, in conversation with each other, generate illuminating insights about our vocal lives and identities. (shrink)
It is often argued that our obligations to address structural injustice are collective in character. But what exactly does it mean for ‘ordinary citizens’ to have collective obligations visà- vis large-scale injustice? In this paper, I propose to pay closer attention to the different kinds of collective action needed in addressing some of these structural injustices and the extent to which these are available to large, unorganised groups of people. I argue that large, dispersed and unorganised groups of (...) people are often in a position to perform distributive collective actions. As such, ordinary citizens can have massively shared obligations to address structural injustice through distributive action, but, ultimately, such obligations are ‘collective’ only in a fairly weak sense. (shrink)
Miranda Fricker's book Epistemic Injustice is an original and stimulating contribution to contemporary epistemology. Fricker's main aim is to illustrate the ethical aspects of two of our basic epistemic practices, namely conveying knowledge to others and making sense of our own social experiences. In particular, she wishes to investigate the idea that there are prevalent and distinctively epistemic forms of injustice related to these aspects of our epistemic lives, injustices which reflect the fact that our actual epistemic practices (...) are socially situated. Most of the book focuses on two such forms – Testimonial Injustice and Hermeneutical Injustice – and on the epistemic virtues required to counteract them.Testimonial Injustice occurs when a hearer fails, because of prejudice, to give due credit to the word of a speaker. For instance, in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, the jury in the trial of Tom Robinson fail to regard his testimony as credible because he …. (shrink)
We investigate how epistemic injustice can manifest itself in mathematical practices. We do this as both a social epistemological and virtue-theoretic investigation of mathematical practices. We delineate the concept both positively—we show that a certain type of folk theorem can be a source of epistemic injustice in mathematics—and negatively by exploring cases where the obstacles to participation in a mathematical practice do not amount to epistemic injustice. Having explored what epistemic injustice in mathematics can amount to, (...) we use the concept to highlight a potential danger of intellectual enculturation. (shrink)
The literature on epistemic injustice has thus far confined the concept of testimonial injustice to speech expressions such as inquiring, discussing, deliberating, and, above all, telling. I propose that it is time to broaden the horizons of testimonial injustice to include a wider range of expressions. Controversially, the form of communication I have in mind is non-verbal expression. Non-verbal expression is a vital, though often overlooked, form of communication, particularly for people who have certain neurocognitive disorders. Dependency (...) upon non-verbal expression is a common feature of some forms of neurocognitive disorders such as ‘intellectual disabilities’, autism and late-stage dementia. According to the narrow definition of testimonial injustice currently championed in the literature, people who express non-verbally are exempt from testimonial injustice. However, when we consider cases where meaningful communications from non-verbal people are dismissed or ignored in virtue of identity prejudice, there seems to be a distinct testimonial harm at play. Using late-stage dementia as a case study, I argue that the definition of testimonial injustice should be expanded to include all communicative practices, whether verbal or non-verbal, to encompass the epistemic harms inflicted upon some of the most marginalised in our society. (shrink)
Centering Epistemic Injustice asks what it means for accounts of epistemic injustice to take seriously the lives and perspectives of socially marginalized knowers and the strategies that marginalized knowers use to circumvent persistent testimonial injustice.
In this paper, I develop two criticisms of Miranda Fricker’s attempt to offer an interpretation of MacKinnon’s claim that pornography silences women that conceives of the silencing in question as an extreme form of testimonial injustice. The intended contrast is with the speech act theoretical model of silencing familiar from Rae Langton and Jennifer Hornsby, who appeal to MacKinnon’s claim to argue against the standard liberal line on pornography, which takes a permissive stance to be demanded by a right (...) to freedom of speech. Fricker’s alternative suggestion is that women are the victims of ‘an especially acute form of testimonial injustice’, due to the kind of dehumanizing bad sexual ideology peddled in much pornography. Fricker suggests that both notions of silencing are coherent possibilities, but that ‘the epistemic model describes the more empirically likely possibility, simply because it requires less erosion of women’s human status before the silencing effect kicks in’. I question the truth of this advertised advantage of Fricker’s epistemic account of silencing, but also its relevance to philosophical debates about pornography and silencing. Second, I raise a concern about theorizing about sexual refusal as a kind of testimony, as Fricker does. (shrink)
Miranda Fricker has influentially discussed testimonial injustice: the injustice done to a speaker S by a hearer H when H gives S less-than-merited credibility. Here, I explore the prospects for a novel form of testimonial injustice, where H affords S due credibility, that is, the amount of credibility S deserves. I present two kinds of cases intended to illustrate this category, and argue that there is presumptive reason to think that testimonial injustice with due credibility exists. (...) I show that if it is denied that ultimately these cases exemplify testimonial injustice without credibility deficit, then either they must be taken to exemplify a novel kind of epistemic, non-testimonial injustice, or they bring to light a significant exegetical result. (shrink)
To verify the occurrence of a singular instance of testimonial injustice three facts must be established. The first is whether the hearer in fact has an identity prejudice of which she may or may not be aware; the second is whether that prejudice was in fact the cause of the unjustified credibility deficit; and the third is whether there was in fact a credibility deficit in the testimonial exchange. These three elements constitute the facts of the matter of testimonial (...)injustice. In this essay we argue that none of these facts can be established with any degree of confidence, and therefore that testimonial injustice is an undetectable phenomenon in singular instances. Our intention is not to undermine the idea of testimonial injustice, but rather to set limits to what can be justifiably asserted about it. According to our argument, although there are insufficient reasons to identify individual acts of testimonial injustice, it is possible to recognize recurrent patterns of epistemic responses to speakers who belong to specific social groups. General testimonial injustice can thus be characterized as a behavioral tendency of a prejudiced hearer. (shrink)