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Rape Culture and Epistemology

In Jennifer Lackey (ed.), Applied Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 253–282 (2021)

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  1. Rape Myths, Catastrophe, and Credibility.Emily C. R. Tilton - forthcoming - Episteme:1-17.
    There is an undeniable tendency to dismiss women’s sexual assault allegations out of hand. However, this tendency is not monolithic—allegations that black men have raped white women are often met with deadly seriousness. I argue that contemporary rape culture is characterized by the interplay between rape myths that minimize rape, and myths that catastrophize rape. Together, these two sets of rape myths distort the epistemic resources that people use when assessing rape allegations. These distortions result in the unjust exoneration of (...)
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  • #MeToo & the Role of Outright Belief.Alexandra Lloyd - 2022 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 25 (2):181-197.
    In this paper, I provide an account of the wrong that is done to women when everyday people fail to believe allegations of sexual assault made by women. I argue that an everyday person wrongs both the accuser and women causally distant from the accuser when they fail to believe the accuser’s allegation. First, I argue that there are responses that we, as everyday members of society, owe to victims of sexual assault. A condition enabling everyday people to respond in (...)
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  • Contextual Injustice.Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa - 2020 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 30 (1):1–30.
    Contextualist treatments of clashes of intuitions can allow that two claims, apparently in conflict, can both be true. But making true utterances is far from the only thing that matters — there are often substantive normative questions about what contextual parameters are appropriate to a given conversational situation. This paper foregrounds the importance of the social power to set contextual standards, and how it relates to injustice and oppression, introducing a phenomenon I call "contextual injustice," which has to do with (...)
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  • Relevance and Risk: How the Relevant Alternatives Framework Models the Epistemology of Risk.Georgi Gardiner - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):481-511.
    The epistemology of risk examines how risks bear on epistemic properties. A common framework for examining the epistemology of risk holds that strength of evidential support is best modelled as numerical probability given the available evidence. In this essay I develop and motivate a rival ‘relevant alternatives’ framework for theorising about the epistemology of risk. I describe three loci for thinking about the epistemology of risk. The first locus concerns consequences of relying on a belief for action, where those consequences (...)
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  • The Ethical Potential of Love in the Wake of Sexual Violence.Morgan Gagnon - 2021 - The Journal of Ethics 25 (4):429-448.
    The myth that sexual violence is perpetrated by strangers in dark alleyways has long since been debunked; the vast majority of sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the victim. This article examines how individuals and communities nevertheless experience epistemic and moral barriers when reacting to reports of sexual violence levelled against community members, friends, and loved ones. Love can, for example, cloud our moral and epistemic oughts when responding to sexual violence, through such avenues as mutual identity constitution (...)
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  • Moral Encroachment and Positive Profiling.Lisa Cassell - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-21.
    Some claim that moral factors affect the epistemic status of our beliefs. Call this the moral encroachment thesis. It’s been argued that the moral encroachment thesis can explain at least part of the wrongness of racial profiling. The thesis predicts that the high moral stakes in cases of racial profiling make it more difficult for these racist beliefs to be justified or to constitute knowledge. This paper considers a class of racial generalizations that seem to do just the opposite of (...)
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  • Varieties of Moral Encroachment.Renée Jorgensen Bolinger - 2020 - Philosophical Perspectives 34 (1):5-26.
    Several authors have recently suggested that moral factors and norms `encroach' on the epistemic, and because of salient parallels to pragmatic encroachment views in epistemology, these suggestions have been dubbed `moral encroachment views'. This paper distinguishes between variants of the moral encroachment thesis, pointing out how they address different problems, are motivated by different considerations, and are not all subject to the same objections. It also explores how the family of moral encroachment views compare to classical pragmatic encroachment accounts.
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  • Metasemantic Ethics.Derek Ball - 2020 - Ratio 33 (4):206-219.
    The idea that experts (especially scientific experts) play a privileged role in determining the meanings of our words and the contents of our concepts has become commonplace since the work of Hilary Putnam, Tyler Burge, and others in the 1970s. But if experts have the power to determine what our words mean, they can do so responsibly or irresponsibly, from good motivations or bad, justly or unjustly, with good or bad effects. This paper distinguishes three families of metasemantic views based (...)
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  • From knowledge to violence: the epistemic dimension of sexual violence testimony.Aurora Georgina Bustos Arellano - 2022 - Estudios de Filosofía (Universidad de Antioquia) 66:289-310.
    The aim of this article is to highlight the epistemic dimension present in the testimony of victims of sexual violence, which takes place through various mechanisms of epistemic injustice, whether testimonial or hermeneutic. In order to show the effects of the relation between epistemic wrongs and sexual violence, I focus on some cases of sexual injustice in Mexican society which support the contention that the systematic recurrence of sexual violence and epistemic injustices lead to a particular form of epistemic dehumanization.
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  • Epistemic Contextualism and the Sociality of Knowledge.Jonathan Ichikawa - forthcoming - In Jennifer Lackey & Aidan McGlynn (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Social Epistemology. Oxford University Press.
    This chapter has four central aims. First, in §1, I distinguish two ideas within epistemology that sometimes travel under the name ‘contextualism’ — the ‘situational contextualist’ idea that an individual’s context, especially their social context, can make for a difference in what they know, and the ‘linguistic contextualist’ idea that discourse using the word ‘knows’ and its cognates is context-sensitive, expressing dif- ferent contents in different conversational contexts. -/- Second, in §2, I situate contextualism with respect to several influential ideas (...)
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  • #BelieveWomen and the Ethics of Belief.Renee Bolinger - forthcoming - In NOMOS LXIV: Truth and Evidence. New York:
    ​I evaluate a suggestion, floated by Kimberly Ferzan (this volume), that the twitter hashtag campaign #BelieveWomen is best accommodated by non-reductionist views of testimonial justification. I argue that the issue is ultimately one about the ethical obligation to trust women, rather than a question of what grounds testimonial justification. I also suggest that the hashtag campaign does not simply assert that ‘we should trust women’, but also militates against a pernicious striking-property generic (roughly: ‘women make false sexual assault accusations’), that (...)
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