Miranda Fricker's Epistemic Injustice: An Attempt at Appropriation of Philippine Social Realities

Social Ethics Society Journal of Applied Philosophy 1 (special):55-88 (2022)
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Miranda Fricker argues of an injustice that is distinctly epistemic though it was born out of societal discrimination, identity power, and racial prejudice. More so, Fricker attempts to establish a theoretical space, where ethics, epistemology, and socio-politics can converge. An epistemology which concerns knowledge not for knowledge’s sake alone, but the kind of knowledge that can morally awaken a knowing subject and which can hopefully influence or bring forth a collective social and political change. I will further argue in this paper that aside from moral awakening, the theory of epistemic injustice also attempts to correct our moral appropriations towards social phenomena as it aims to provide an unbiased epistemic basis on issues of social identities, namely: gender, race, religion, financial, economic, and social status, rank or position in work and institutions, among other factors. Epistemic injustice is a hybrid social theory that presupposes social ethical responsibility and epistemic justice among individuals, as well as in social institutions. It initially arose as part of the developments in virtue epistemology, a new trend in epistemology that emphasizes the role of virtue in knowledge, which sprung from the epistemic debates in virtue epistemology of the Anglo-American analytic philosophers. Epistemic injustice finds its own development of the theory now known as vice epistemology, which have special emphasis on non-virtuous acts, namely—vices. This paper is fundamentally aimed to introduce Miranda Fricker’s concept of “epistemic injustice,” including its possible indications within Philippine societal happenings. I then attempt to appropriate the phenomena of epistemic injustice as theorized by Fricker in the context of the Filipino social experience. This essay attempts to tackle the gaps between the apparent disparity in Philippine societies, particularly on issues that concerned the imperial Manila, the Bangsamoro, and other marginalized minorities, such as, transgender people, farmers, and fisher folks, as well as issues regarding the national language.

Author's Profile

Menelito Mansueto
Mindanao State University - Iligan Institute of Technology


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