Hermeneutical Injustice, (Self-)Recognition, and Academia

Hypatia 35 (2):1-19 (2020)
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Miranda Fricker’s account of hermeneutical injustice and remedies for this injustice are widely debated. This article adds to the existing debate by arguing that theories of recog- nition can fruitfully contribute to Fricker’s account of hermeneutical injustice and can provide a framework for structural remedy. By pairing Fricker’s theory of hermeneutical injustice with theories of recognition, I bring forward a modest claim and a more radical claim. The first concerns a shift in our vocabulary; recognition theory can give a name to the seriousness of the long-term effects of hermeneutical injustice. The second claim is more radical: thinking of hermeneutical injustice as preventing what I call “self-recogni- tion” provides a structural remedy to the phenomenon of hermeneutical injustice. Because hermeneutical injustice is first and foremost a structural injustice, I contend that every virtue theory of hermeneutical justice should be complemented by structural remedies in terms of recognition. Finally, what I argue sheds light on the seriousness of cases of exclusion of and discrimination against women in academia and helps to draw our attention to new ways to combat such problems.

Author's Profile

Hilkje Charlotte Hänel
Universität Potsdam


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