Speak No Evil: Understanding Hermeneutical (In)justice

Episteme 19 (3):431-454 (2022)
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Abstract

Miranda Fricker's original presentation of Hermeneutical Injustice left open theoretical choice points leading to criticisms and subsequent clarifications with the resulting dialectic appearing largely verbal. The absence of perspicuous exposition of hallmarks of Hermeneutical Injustice might suggest scenarios exhibiting some – but not all – such hallmarks are within its purview when they are not. The lack of clear hallmarks of Hermeneutical Injustice, moreover, obscures both the extent to which Fricker's proposed remedy Hermeneutical Justice – roughly, virtuous communicative practices – adequately addresses the injustice, and the accuracy of criticisms suggesting that Hermeneutical Justice is insufficient to the task. In what follows, after briefly defending necessary and sufficient conditions for what I take to be the best candidate interpretation of Hermeneutical Injustice, I build on recent work on moral responsibility to construct and defend a rigorous explication of Hermeneutical Justice.

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John Beverley
University at Buffalo

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