Epistemic Injustice: Power and the Ethics of Knowing

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Oxford University Press, 2009 - Philosophy - 188 pages
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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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Excellent book. And don't be fooled by the previous review. Fricker writes beautifully and with analytic rigour. She relies on several actual cases to illuminate a phenomena that has been so understudied in epistemology. She has shown how power and knowledge are often intimately related in a way that has never been accomplished in analytic philosophy.  

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About the author (2009)

Miranda Fricker is Reader in the School of Philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London

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