Epistemic Injustice in Social Cognition

Wesley Buckwalter

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Silencing is a practice that disrupts linguistic and communicative acts, but its relationship to knowledge and justice is not fully understood. Prior models of epistemic injustice tend to characterize silencing as a symptom that follows as a result of underrepresenting the knowledge of others. In this paper, I advance a model of epistemic injustice in which the opposite sometimes happens. Drawing on recent work in experimental cognitive science, I argue that silencing can cause misrepresentations of knowledge and, subsequently, epistemic injustice to occur. Drawing on recent work in epistemology, I also argue that, according to some leading theories, silencing potentially causes ignorance by depriving individuals and communities of knowledge itself. These findings expand our understanding of silencing in social practice, contribute a broader model of epistemic injustice for research at the intersection of ethics and philosophy of mind, and have implications for leading theories of knowledge in epistemology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)294-308
JournalAustralasian Journal of Philosophy
Issue number2
Early online date15 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2019


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