Hermeneutical Injustice: Distortion and Conceptual Aptness

Hypatia (forthcoming)
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Abstract
This article develops a new approach for theorizing about hermeneutical injustice. According to a dominant view, hermeneutical injustice results from a hermeneutical gap: one lacks the conceptual tools needed to make sense of, or to communicate, important social experience, where this lack is a result of an injustice in the background social methods used to determine hermeneutical resources. I argue that this approach is incomplete. It fails to capture an important species of hermeneutical injustice which doesn’t result from a lack of hermeneutical resources, but from the overabundance of distorting and oppressive concepts which function to crowd-out, defeat, or preempt the application of a more accurate hermeneutical resource. I propose a broader analysis that better respects the dynamic relationship between hermeneutical resources and the social and political contexts in which they are implemented.
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First archival date: 2021-04-13
Latest version: 5 (2022-01-08)
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2021-04-13

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