Imposed Silences and Shared Hermeneutical Responsibilities

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

Imposed Silences and Shared Hermeneutical Responsibilities

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This chapter develops a contextualist approach to hermeneutical injustice that is pluralistic, interactive, and dynamic. First, I offer an expansion of Miranda Fricker’s analysis of silencing, arguing that we need to pay attention to the performative and pragmatic aspects of communicative dynamics to fully appreciate the patterns of silence that are part of epistemic injustice in general and of hermeneutical injustice in particular. In the second place, I argue that a more deeply pluralistic account of hermeneutical justice is needed, one that takes into account the communicative dynamics of a plurality of publics that are internally heterogeneous and contain multiple voices and perspectives. Finally, I use my polyphonic contextualism to expand Fricker’s view of what counts as virtuous interpretative responsiveness and to offer a more robust notion of epistemic responsibility with respect to hermeneutical justice.

Keywords: silence; hermeneutical injustice; epistemic responsibility; hermeneutical responsibility; pragmatics; communication; publics; interpretation; uptake; responsiveness

Chapter.  13634 words. 

Subjects: Feminist Philosophy

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