Moral Encroachment, Wokeness, and the Epistemology of Holding

Episteme 20 (1):86-100 (2023)
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Hilde Lindemann argues that personhood is the shared practice of recognizing and responding to one another. She calls this practice holding. Holding, however, can fail. Holding failure, by stereotyping for example, can inhibit others’ epistemic confidence and ability to recall true beliefs as well as create an environment of racism or sexism. How might we avoid holding failure? Holding failure, I argue, has many epistemic dimensions, so I argue that moral encroachment has the theoretical tools available to avoid holding failures. The goal of this paper, therefore, is to articulate and understand the epistemology of holding in an attempt to remedy holding failure. I show that the virtue of wokeness emerges from an epistemic environment tainted with moral encroachment. I argue that as long as an individual is woke, she will have a tendency to avoid holding failures. Wokeness and moral encroachment, consequently, are fundamental to the epistemology of holding and consistent proper holding.

Author's Profile

J. Spencer Atkins
State University of New York at Binghamton


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