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Epistemic Discrimination

Puddifoot, Katherine (2017) 'Epistemic Discrimination.', in The Routledge Handbook of the Ethics of Discrimination. London: Routledge, pp. 54-67. Routledge Handbooks in Applied Ethics.


Epistemic discrimination is prejudice, bias and discriminatory action suffered by individuals in their position as epistemic agents, that is, as individuals who can acquire knowledge, justified belief or understanding. Epistemic discrimination can be intentional or unintentional. To get a general handle on the phenomenon of epistemic discrimination, this chapter considers a subset of cases of epistemic discrimination that have been discussed in the recent literature in philosophy and beyond: the cases of epistemic injustice identified in Miranda Fricker's Epistemic Injustice: Power and the Ethics of Knowing. Fricker identifies two types of epistemic injustice: testimonial injustice and hermeneutical injustice. The economic, political and ideological dimensions of US black women's oppression suppressed the intellectual production of individual black feminist thinkers. Charles Mills (2007) also emphasizes the relationship between epistemic discrimination and the ignorance of members of the dominant group. Increasingly, philosophers as well as psychologists are noticing that implicit biases can also provide a mechanism through which epistemic discrimination can be perpetrated.

Item Type:Book chapter
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Publisher statement:This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in The Routledge Handbook of the Ethics of Discrimination on 23 August 2017, available online:
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:11 August 2022
Date of first online publication:23 August 2017
Date first made open access:11 August 2022

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