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Flashcards in epistemic justice Deck (10)
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what is Miranda Fricker's argument for the existence of epistemic injustice?

epistemic injustice is when you wrong someone in the capacity as a knower. for example, the man at the pub not believing my knowledge of Crystal Palace as 'you're just a bird love'.
There are two main types of injustice - transactional and structural.
Transactional injustice is wronging someone in their capacity as a knower that operates between individuals e.g. when person a forces person b into an exchange rather than both parties agreeing reasonably, this is an example of transactional injustice. Testimonial injustice - a form of transactional injustice, happens when individuals wrong eachother in their capacities as knowers based on race, sex, gender etc... e.g. the talented Mr Ripley - dismissive of women's correct opinions based on her sex. We are thus responsible for these actions.
Fricker argues that it is only an injustice when you give someone a credibility deficit - treat them less in their capacity as knowers - it is not an injustice to ascribe more value to what someone says based on sex, gender etc...
Structural injustice occurs between institutions/systems rather than individuals e.g. leaving the council estate our of the catchment area in an effort to increase grades for a school. Hermeneutical injustice is a form of structural injustice which is a collective failure of a community to recognise marginalisation in race, gender, etc...
According to Fricker, not one person is responsible for these kinds of injustice.


what is Fricker's solution to epistemic injustice

Fricker argues for a virtue-based solution to epistemic injutsice.
In terms of transactional/testimonal injustice, Fricker advocates for us, in line with developing our moral characters, to correct ourselves and others' prejudical assumptions. - aim for virtue of epistemic justice
In terms of structural/hermeneutical injustice, Fricker advocates for the virtue of open-mindedness and desire to find these unrecognised marginalised groups and ascribe labels to these prejudices. When recongised, we are in a better position to tackle the issue and get rid of it.


what is Ben Sherman's criticism of Fricker's argument?

Aiming for testimonial justice as a virtue is not sufficient in eliminating our prejudice beliefs. Further, the term 'testimonal justice' can actually do more harm than good. We should stop talking about this unhelpful and harmful concept.
He argues this because we believe that most of our beliefs are justified and are very unlikely to wish to re-write our entire belief systems.
1- moral beliefs and what we consider to be virtuous are sparse and not believed objectively/ universally
2- we believe we are justified in most of what we do and would be reluctant to change ur entire belief systems
3 - a KKK cyclops when presented with the idea to be more testimonially just may consider if he had wronged any of his low rank KKK members in their capacities as knowers over certain matters and may re-evaluate his prejudice here. He would not see his prejudice against black people as testimonially injust but virtuous and correct.
4- the cyclops in re-evaluating his prejudice to his lower ranked members considers himself 'testimonially just' - providing active reaffirmation of his beliefs
C- testimonial injustice is a harmful and not useful concept.


what is the Aristotelian response to Sherman's criticism?

If you imbed the virtue of 'testimonial justice' alone, this could happen. However, Fricker can be defended if she encourages people to combat testimonial injustice by imbedding the virtue of testimonial justice as well as the philosophy of Aristotle, including all his other virtues. Aristotelian ethics, encoruaging the flourishing of human beings is clearly dismissed by KKK cyclopes' which seek to limit the flourishing of black people. They clearly don't want to develop their moral characters. If you encourage the virtue of testimonial justice in addition to a virtuous life, then the objection disappears.


what is your criticism of Fricker?

Doesn't go far enough.
Fricker argues that testimonal/transactional injustice onl y takes place on an individual basis and only when a credibility deficit takes place.
I argue that indirectly, people are wronged in their capacities as knowers when in these transcational/testimonial encounters there occurs a credibility excess. This is because sometimes, this corresponds with an implied, indirect belief that a group of people are credibility deficient in a way. For example, imagine a plane scenario with a male captain and a valve open that shouldn't be that the old man sees, he assumes that as there is a male pilot, he knows what he's doing so he sits back in your seat, the plane crashes. Here extra trust is put in a man on the basis of his sex which implies that a deficit of trust should be put in women. The mentality of 'i need a big strong man to do this for me' has the indirect implication that females are not qualified for the job - credibility excesses have implications of wide-scale corresponding credibility deficits.
It at least perpetuates the dialogue of wronging people in their capacities as knowers so should certainly be at least considered a type of epistemic injustice.


What is your response to Ben Sherman?

Perhaps more convincing,
Whilst, we may be reluctant to change our belief systems and the objective nature of morality is up for debate, testimonial injustice is a defined concept - wronging those in their capacities as knowers. So, regardless of whether the cyclops thinks he is right in wronging black people in their capacities as knowers or not, he is still by definition doing so with his direct prejudice. We may not be able to convince deluded racists out of their racism, however, testimonial injustice and the strive for testimonial justice are still useful concepts to have as WE can recognize prejudice as wrong and call out those doing it.


what is Anderson and Alcroff's criticism of Fricker?
and further response.

On her talk of structural/ hermeneutical injustice, it is argued that a structural solution is needed as it is a structural problem. Fricker arguably doesn't go far enough in her virtue-based open minded notion of hermeneutical justice - creating a space for inclusive dialogue is not enough to solve this problem.
reply - virtue can become habitual when done often enough - aristotle describes virtue to be like learning an instrument , once copied off other people, then you learn to develop your own riffs - hermeneutical justice as a virtue becomes second nature, if everyone does this, whole institutions could be held to account.
further response - but first we need to know how to practice it consciously - structural solutions are needed to enable virtue to flourish as an efficient solution


What is Anderson's criticism of Fricker?

structural remedies are much more pervasive than originally acknowledged by Fricker.
Anderson talks about ethnocentrism - the arguably innocent bias we have in favour to the groups we belong deeply rooted in psychology. The problem is, when this innocent bias is combined with sharing reality bias and segregation - it can lead to hermeneutical injustice. e.g. growing up associating a certain group with a certain skill, a certain company may disproportionately only look to hire members of said certain group, dismissing others with equal qualification.
in the face of a massive structural injustice, individual epistemic virtue can only play a small role.
Strucutral solutions are needed.


What is Anderson's solution?

Anderson advocates for inclusion and integration as the main structural solution to epistemic injustice.


What is your additional solution?

Grading exams anoymously
independent insititution for injustice