Epistemic Injustice: Power and the Ethics of Knowing

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9780199570522: Epistemic Injustice: Power and the Ethics of Knowing

In this exploration of new territory between ethics and epistemology, Miranda Fricker argues that there is a distinctively epistemic type of injustice, in which someone is wronged specifically in their capacity as a knower. Justice is one of the oldest and most central themes in philosophy, but in order to reveal the ethical dimension of our epistemic practices the focus must shift to injustice. Fricker adjusts the philosophical lens so that we see through to the negative space that is epistemic injustice.

The book explores two different types of epistemic injustice, each driven by a form of prejudice, and from this exploration comes a positive account of two corrective ethical-intellectual virtues. The characterization of these phenomena casts light on many issues, such as social power, prejudice, virtue, and the genealogy of knowledge, and it proposes a virtue epistemological account of testimony. In this ground-breaking book, the entanglements of reason and social power are traced in a new way, to reveal the different forms of epistemic injustice and their place in the broad pattern of social injustice.

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About the Author:

Miranda Fricker is Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck College.


"Overall, Epistemic Injustice is an exciting examination of a widespread problem that is rarely discussed in such terms so that it can be understood and communicated, and perhaps, someday, solved."--Feminist Review

"An original and stimulating contribution to contemporary epistemology.... There is much to admire in Fricker's book. It is clear, well-written and well-structured. The explanations and arguments are rigorous without being overly technical, and the illustrations are interesting and felicitous. In particular, the book constitutes a striking example of how contemporary epistemology can be enriched by a close attention to our experiences, and of how our understanding of epistemic matters can be deepened through the deployment of ideas from ethics, plitical theory and feminist philosophy. As a result, Epistemic Injustice makes a significant contribution, not just to epistemology, but to all of the disciplines."--Michael Brady, Analysis Reviews

"In this elegant and ground-breaking work, Fricker names the phenomenon of epistemic injustice, and distinguishes two central forms of it, with their two corresponding remedies. As the title conveys, Fricker is working in the newly fertile borderland between theories of value and of knowledge. We are social creatures-something that tends to be forgotten by traditional analytic epistemology. We are also knowers-something that tends to be forgotten by power-obsessed postmodern theorizing. Fricker steers a careful passage between the Scylla of the one and the Charybdis of the other. . . . The book is not only a wonderful, ambitious attempt to bring ethics and epistemology together in a way that has rarely been done before, it is also a beautiful, and powerful, attempt to name something that matters. What progress, to be able to name the enemy, be it sexual harassment or epistemic injustice!" --Rae Langton, Hypatia

"bold and well-argued . . . rich and elegantly written . . . Anyone whose philosophical interest in the concept of knowledge extends beyond merely definitional issues, and addresses its ethical and political dimensions as well as its genealogy, can ill afford to ignore this book" -- Axel Gelfert, Times Literary Supplement

"Miranda Fricker's excellent monograph occupies some relatively uncharted philosophical territory, being 'neither straightforwardly a work of ethics nor straightforwardly a work of epistemology', but instead seeking to '[renegotiate] a stretch of the border between these two regions'...her discussion is outstandingly lucid and persuasive...the book is an admirable reminder of what can be accomplished in under two hundred pages of crisp yet free-flowing philosophical prose. It deserves, and will surely command, widespread attention." --Sabina Lovibond, Philosophy

"excellent and well argued . . . This is an important and timely book, argued with care and illustrated with detailed and compelling examples . . . an exemplary discussion of the intersection of knowledge and power." --Kathleen Lennon Philosophical Quarterly

"This is a wonderful book not just for social or feminist epistemologists, but for the discipline as a whole. Fricker succeeds admirably in achieving her main goal of offering a detailed and wide-ranging ethical and epistemological analysis of testimonial injustice . . . Moreover, the book is beautifully written" --Martin Kusch, Mind

"In this elegantly crafted book, Miranda Fricker's timely project of 'looking at the negative space that is epistemic injustice' comes to fruition...this is a path-breaking study." --Lorraine Code, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

"In an often gripping manner, Fricker cuts across philosophical subdisciplines in order to expose some of the more sinister aspects of our epistemic practices. For anyone interested in ethics, epostemology, or social and political philosophy, this is surely a must-read." --Francesco Pupa, Metaphilosophy

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