Hermeneutical Injustice, (Self-)Recognition, and Academia

Hypatia 35 (2):1-19 (2020)
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Abstract

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.

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Hilkje Charlotte Hänel
Universität Potsdam

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