Resistance as Epistemic Vice and as Epistemic Virtue

José Medina

in The Epistemology of Resistance

Published in print February 2013 | ISBN: 9780199929023
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199301522 | DOI:

Series: Studies in Feminist Philosophy

Resistance as Epistemic Vice and as Epistemic Virtue

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This chapter argues that testimonial injustice involves a lack of proportionality in the appraisals of epistemic qualities such as credibility. Being always comparative and contrastive, an epistemic appraisal concerns more than the particular subject(s) under consideration, given the comparison and contrast classes that support the appraisal. According to my argument, testimonial injustices concern not only the epistemic deficits that oppressed subjects have to endure, but also the epistemic excesses (e.g., excessive authority and credibility) that privileged subjects enjoy. I further argue that the epistemic vices of the privileged tend to produce a particular form of ignorance which I refer to as meta-blindness or meta-insensitivity—a cognitive and affective numbing that can be described as insensitivity to insensitivity. The problem of meta-blindness calls for a cognitive-affective restructuring, which involves a process with multiple normative dimensions: an epistemic, ethical, and political re-education that touches on all aspects of our life.

Keywords: epistemic injustice; testimonial injustice; hermeneutical injustice; meta-blindness; insensitivity; credibility; social imagination

Chapter.  16661 words. 

Subjects: Feminist Philosophy

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