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Nora Berenstain
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  1. White Feminist Gaslighting.Nora Berenstain - 2020 - Hypatia:1-26.
    Structural gaslighting arises when conceptual work functions to obscure the non-accidental connections between structures of oppression and the patterns of harm they produce and license. This paper examines the role that structural gaslighting plays in white feminist methodology and epistemology using Fricker’s (2007) discussion of hermeneutical injustice as an illustration. Fricker’s work produces structural gaslighting through several methods: i) the outright denial of the role that structural oppression plays in producing interpretive harm, ii) the use of single-axis conceptual resources to (...)
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  2. Epistemic Exploitation.Nora Berenstain - 2016 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 3:569-590.
    Epistemic exploitation occurs when privileged persons compel marginalized persons to educate them about the nature of their oppression. I argue that epistemic exploitation is marked by unrecognized, uncompensated, emotionally taxing, coerced epistemic labor. The coercive and exploitative aspects of the phenomenon are exemplified by the unpaid nature of the educational labor and its associated opportunity costs, the double bind that marginalized persons must navigate when faced with the demand to educate, and the need for additional labor created by the default (...)
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  3.  50
    Strengthening Weak Emergence.Nora Berenstain - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-18.
    Bedau's influential (1997) account analyzes weak emergence in terms of the non-derivability of a system’s macrostates from its microstates except by simulation. I offer an improved version of Bedau’s account of weak emergence in light of insights from information theory. Non-derivability alone does not guarantee that a system’s macrostates are weakly emergent. Rather, it is non-derivability plus the algorithmic compressibility of the system’s macrostates that makes them weakly emergent. I argue that the resulting information-theoretic picture provides a metaphysical account of (...)
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  4. Gender-Based Administrative Violence as Colonial Strategy.Elena Ruíz & Nora Berenstain - 2018 - Philosophical Topics 46 (2):209-227.
    There is a growing trend across North America of women being criminalized for their pregnancy outcomes. Rather than being a series of aberrations resulting from institutional failures, we argue that this trend is part of a colonial strategy of administrative violence aimed at women of color and Native women across Turtle Island. We consider a range of medical and legal practices constituting gender-based administrative violence, and we argue that they are the result of non-accidental and systematic production of population-level harms (...)
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  5. Privileged-Perspective Realism in the Quantum Multiverse.Nora Berenstain - 2020 - In David Glick, George Darby & Anna Marmodoro (eds.), The Foundation of Reality: Fundamentality, Space, and Time. Oxford University Press.
    Privileged-perspective realism (PPR) is a version of metaphysical realism that takes certain irreducibly perspectival facts to be partly constitutive of reality. PPR asserts that there is a single metaphysically privileged standpoint from which these perspectival facts obtain. This chapter discusses several views that fall under the category of privileged-perspective realism. These include presentism, which is PPR about tensed facts, and non-multiverse interpretations of quantum mechanics, which the chapter argues, constitute PPR about world-indexed facts. Using the framework of the bird perspective (...)
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  6.  36
    ‘Civility’ and the Civilizing Project.Nora Berenstain - 2020 - Philosophical Papers 49 (2):305-337.
    Calls for civility have been on the rise recently, as have presumptions that civility is both an academic virtue and a prerequisite for rational engagement and discussion among those who disagree. One imperative of epistemic decolonization is to unmask the ways that familiar conceptual resources are produced within and function to uphold a settler colonial epistemological framework. I argue that rhetorical deployments of ‘civility’ uphold settler colonialism by obscuring the systematic production of state violence against marginalized populations and Indigenous peoples, (...)
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  7. Ontic Structural Realism and Modality.Nora Berenstain & James Ladyman - 2012 - In Elaine Landry & Dean Rickles (eds.), Structural Realism: Structure, Object, and Causality. Springer.
    There is good reason to believe that scientific realism requires a commitment to the objective modal structure of the physical world. Causality, equilibrium, laws of nature, and probability all feature prominently in scientific theory and explanation, and each one is a modal notion. If we are committed to the content of our best scientific theories, we must accept the modal nature of the physical world. But what does the scientific realist’s commitment to physical modality require? We consider whether scientific realism (...)
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  8. The Applicability of Mathematics to Physical Modality.Nora Berenstain - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3361-3377.
    This paper argues that scientific realism commits us to a metaphysical determination relation between the mathematical entities that are indispensible to scientific explanation and the modal structure of the empirical phenomena those entities explain. The argument presupposes that scientific realism commits us to the indispensability argument. The viewpresented here is that the indispensability of mathematics commits us not only to the existence of mathematical structures and entities but to a metaphysical determination relation between those entities and the modal structure of (...)
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  9. Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny, by Kate Manne. [REVIEW]Nora Berenstain - 2019 - Mind 128 (512):1360-1371.
    Kate Manne’s Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny combines traditional conceptual analysis and feminist conceptual engineering with critical exploration of cases drawn from popular culture and current events in order to produce an ameliorative account of misogyny, i.e., one that will help address the problems of misogyny in the actual world. A feminist account of misogyny that is both intersectional and ameliorative must provide theoretical tools for recognizing misogyny in its many-dimensional forms, as it interacts and overlaps with other oppressions. (...)
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  10. Implicit Bias and the Idealized Rational Self.Nora Berenstain - 2018 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 5:445-485.
    The underrepresentation of women, people of color, and especially women of color—and the corresponding overrepresentation of white men—is more pronounced in philosophy than in many of the sciences. I suggest that part of the explanation for this lies in the role played by the idealized rational self, a concept that is relatively influential in philosophy but rarely employed in the sciences. The idealized rational self models the mind as consistent, unified, rationally transcendent, and introspectively transparent. I hypothesize that acceptance of (...)
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  11. What a Structuralist Theory of Properties Could Not Be.Nora Berenstain - 2016 - In Anna Marmodoro & David Yates (ed.), The Metaphysics of Relations. OUP. Oxford University Press.
    Causal structuralism is the view that, for each natural, non-mathematical, non-Cambridge property, there is a causal profile that exhausts its individual essence. On this view, having a property’s causal profile is both necessary and sufficient for being that property. It is generally contrasted with the Humean or quidditistic view of properties, which states that having a property’s causal profile is neither necessary nor sufficient for being that property, and with the double-aspect view, which states that causal profile is necessary but (...)
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  12. Necessary Laws and Chemical Kinds.Nora Berenstain - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (4):631-647.
    Contingentism, generally contrasted with law necessitarianism, is the view that the laws of nature are contingent. It is often coupled with the claim that their contingency is knowable a priori. This paper considers Bird's (2001, 2002, 2005, 2007) arguments for the thesis that, necessarily, salt dissolves in water; and it defends his view against Beebee's (2001) and Psillos's (2002) contingentist objections. A new contingentist objection is offered and several reasons for scepticism about its success are raised. It is concluded that (...)
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