Pragmatic Encroachment and Feminist Epistemology

In Natalie Alana Ashton, Martin Kusch, Robin McKenna & Katharina Sodoma (eds.), Social Epistemology and Epistemic Relativism. Routledge (forthcoming)
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Pragmatic encroachers argue that whether you know that p depends on a combination of pragmatic and epistemic factors. Most defenses of pragmatic encroachment focus on a particular pragmatic factor: how much is at stake for an individual. This raises a question: are there reasons for thinking that knowledge depends on other pragmatic factors that parallel the reasons for thinking that knowledge depends on the stakes? In this paper I argue that there are parallel reasons for thinking that knowledge depends on social factors such as one’s social role or identity. I call this social encroachment. After defending social encroachment, I compare and contrast social encroachment with some key ideas in feminist epistemology. I argue that, while there are some important similarities, there are also some important differences. I finish by commenting on what I take the upshots of these differences to be.
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