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Domination, Epistemic Injustice and Republican Epistemology

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With her conception of epistemic injustice, Miranda Fricker has opened up new normative dimensions for epistemology; that is, the injustice of denying one’s status as a knower. While her analysis of the remedies for such injustices focuses on the epistemic virtues of agents, I argue for the normative superiority of adapting a broadly republican conception of epistemic injustice. This argument for a republican epistemology has three steps. First, I focus on methodological and explanatory issues of identifying epistemic injustice and argue, against Fricker, that identity prejudice fails to provide a sufficient explanatory basis for the spread and maintenance of such systematic epistemic injustice. Second, this systemic basis can be found not so much in the psychological attitudes of individual knowers, but in the relations of domination among groups and individuals in a society. Third, if such a presence of domination plays a primary explanatory role in all forms of epistemic injustice, it is likely that those who suffer from epistemic injustice will also suffer other forms of injustice and loss of status via the exercise of other forms of power and exclusion.
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Keywords: Domination; Epistemic Status; Injustice; Republicanism

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-04-01

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