Published online by Cambridge University Press: 13 November 2018
This volume has its roots in two recent developments within mainstream analytic epistemology: a growing recognition over the past two or three decades of the active and social nature of our epistemic lives; and, more recently still, the increasing appreciation of the various ways in which the epistemic practices of individuals and societies can, and often do, go wrong. The theoretical analysis of these breakdowns in epistemic practice, along with the various harms and wrongs that follow as a consequence, constitutes an approach to epistemology that we refer to as non-ideal epistemology. In this introductory chapter we introduce and contextualise the ten essays that comprise this volume, situating them within four broad sub-fields: vice epistemology, epistemic injustice, inter-personal epistemic practices, and applied epistemology. We also provide a brief overview of several other important growth areas in non-ideal epistemology.
1 The distinction between ideal and non-ideal theory in political theory is typically traced to Rawls’, John A Theory of Justice (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972)Google Scholar. Mills, Charles W. offers a powerful defence of the significance of non-ideal theory within political philosophy in his ‘“Ideal Theory” as Ideology’, Hypatia 20 (2005), 165–184Google Scholar.
2 Battaly, Heather, ‘Virtue Epistemology’, Philosophy Compass 3 (2008), 639–663CrossRefGoogle Scholar; John Turri, Mark Alfano, and John Greco, ‘Virtue Epistemology’, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2018 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), <https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2018/entries/epistemology-virtue/>.
3 Some relatively early exceptions to virtue epistemology's focus on the positive include: Swank, Casey, ‘Epistemic Vice’, in Axtell, Guy (ed.) Knowledge, Belief, and Character: Readings in Contemporary Virtue Epistemology (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2000), 195–204Google Scholar; Fricker, Miranda, Epistemic Injustice (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar. For discussion of why vice has been overlooked in the virtue epistemological literature, see Charlie Crerar, ‘Motivational Approaches to Intellectual Vice’, Australasian Journal of Philosophy (Forthcoming).
4 A further, arguably related, non-ideal approach to virtue epistemology is represented by the situationist challenge, which employs psychological evidence to argue that true epistemic virtues are, in fact, vanishingly rare. See, for example, Alfano, Mark, Character as Moral Fiction (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Olin, Lauren and Dorris, John M., ‘Vicious Minds’, Philosophical Studies 168 (2014), 665–692CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Fairweather, Abrol and Alfano, Mark (eds.), Epistemic Situationism (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.
5 Cassam, Quassim, ‘Vice Epistemology’, The Monist 99 (2016), 159–180CrossRefGoogle Scholar. Other prominent works in vice epistemology include: Battaly, Heather, ‘Epistemic Virtue and Vice: Reliabilism, Responsibilsm, and Personalism’ in Mi, Chienkuo, Slote, Michael, and Sosa, Ernest (eds.), Moral and Intellectual Virtues in Chinese and Western Philosophy: The Turn Towards Virtue (New York, NY: Routledge, 2016), 99–120Google Scholar; Kidd, Ian James, ‘Charging Others with Epistemic Vice’, The Monist 99 (2016), 181–197CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Tanesini, Alessandra, ‘“Calm Down Dear”: Intellectual Arrogance, Silencing, and Ignorance’, Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 90 (2016), 71–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar.
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7 Battaly, Heather, ‘Can Closed-Mindedness be an Intellectual Virtue?’, Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 84 (2018), 23Google Scholar.
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9 Tanesini, Alessandra, ‘Caring for Esteem and Intellectual Reputation: Some Epistemic Benefits and Harms’, Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 84 (2018), 49Google Scholar.
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11 Dotson, Kristie, ‘Conceptualizing Epistemic Oppression’, Social Epistemology 28 (2014), 115–38, at 115CrossRefGoogle Scholar. Examples of early articulations of this kind of idea are found in Frye, Marilyn, The Politics of Reality: Essays in Feminist Theory (Berkeley, CA: The Crossing Press, 1983)Google Scholar; Lorde, Audre, Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches, (Freedom, CA: The Crossing Press, 1984)Google Scholar; Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty, ‘Can the Subaltern Speak?’, in Nelson, C. & Grossberg, L. (eds.), Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture (Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1988), 271–313CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Collins, Patricia Hill, Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment, 2nd ed. (New York: Routledge, 2009), 1st ed. published 1991Google Scholar; Code, Lorraine, Rhetorical Spaces: Essays on Gendered Locations (London: Routledge, 1995)Google Scholar; Mills, Charles W., The Racial Contract (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1999)Google Scholar; Lugones, María, Pilgrimages/Peregrinajes: Theorizing Coalition Against Multiple Oppressions (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003)Google Scholar. Types of epistemic oppression other than epistemic injustice have been discussed in, for example, Dotson, Kristie, ‘Tracking Epistemic Violence, Tracking Practices of Silencing’, Hypatia 26 (2011), 236–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Medina, José, The Epistemology of Resistance: Gender and Racial Oppression, Epistemic Injustice, and Resistant Imaginations (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Berenstain, Nora, ‘Epistemic Exploitation’, Ergo 3 (2016), 569–90Google Scholar.
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14 See also Wanderer, Jeremy, ‘Addressing Testimonial Injustice: Being Ignored and Being Rejected’, Philosophical Quarterly 62 (2012), 148–169CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Pohlhaus, Gaile, ‘Discerning the Primary Epistemic Harm in Cases of Testimonial Injustice’, Social Epistemology 28 (2014), 99–114CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Davis, Emmalon, ‘Typecasts, Tokens, and Spokespersons: A Case for Credibility Excess as Testimonial Injustice’ Hypatia 31 (2016), 485–501CrossRefGoogle Scholar.
15 See also Mason, Rebecca, ‘Two Kinds of Unknowing’, Hypatia 26 (2011), 294–307CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Crerar, Charlie, ‘Taboo, Hermeneutical Injustice, and Expressively Free Environments’, Episteme 13 (2016), 195–207CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Goetze, Trystan S., ‘Hermeneutical Dissent and the Species of Hermeneutical Injustice’, Hypatia 33 (2018), 73–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar.
16 Pohlhaus, Gaile, ‘Relational Knowing and Epistemic Injustice: Toward a Theory of Willful Hermeneutical Ignorance’, Hypatia 27 (2012), 715–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Dotson, Kristie, ‘A Cautionary Tale: On Limiting Epistemic Oppression’, Frontiers: A Journal of Women's Studies 33 (2012), 24–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Coady, David, ‘Two Concepts of Epistemic Injustice’, Episteme 7 (2012), 101–113CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Hookway, Christopher, ‘Some Varieties of Epistemic Injustice: Reflections on Fricker’, Episteme 7 (2010), 151–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar.
17 Kotzee, Ben, ‘Educational Justice, Epistemic Justice, and Leveling Down’, Educational Theory 63 (2013), 331–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Jenkins, Katharine, ‘Rape Myths and Domestic Abuse Myths as Hermeneutical Injustices’, Journal of Applied Philosophy 34 (2017), 191–205CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Teri Merrick, ‘From “Intersex” to “DSD”: A Case of Epistemic Injustice’, Synthese (forthcoming).
18 Grasswick, Heidi, ‘Understanding Epistemic Trust Injustices’, Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 84 (2018), 69Google Scholar.
19 Bailey, Alison, ‘On Anger, Silence, and Epistemic Injustice’, Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 84 (2018), 93Google Scholar.
20 See Lugones, Pilgrimages/Pereginajes.
21 For a snapshot of the debate on disagreement, see Feldman, Richard and Warfield, Ted (eds.), Disagreement (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar and Christensen, David & Lackey, Jennifer (eds.), The Epistemology of Disagreement: New Essays (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar. For work on disagreement with and between groups, see Carter, J. Adam, ‘Group Peer Disagreement’, Ratio 27 (2016), 11–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Frances, Bryan, Disagreement (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2014)Google Scholar; Mattias Skipper and Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen, ‘Group Disagreement: A Belief Aggregation Perspective’, Synthese (forthcoming); Christensen, David, ‘Disagreement and Public Controversy’, in Lackey, Jennifer (ed.), Essays in Collective Epistemology (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), 143–163Google Scholar. For work on deep disagreement, where disagreements in belief can be explained by underlying differences in the norms, principles, and commitments that shape the disputant's epistemic practices, see Kappel, Klemens, ‘The Problem of Deep Disagreement’, Discipline Filosofiche 22 (2012), 7–25Google Scholar; Lynch, Michael P., ‘Epistemic Circularity and Epistemic Disagreement’, in Haddock, Adrian, Millar, Alan and Pritchard, Duncan (eds.), Social Epistemology (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), 262–277CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Alvin Goldman, ‘Epistemic Relativism and Reasonable Disagreement’, in Feldman & Warfield (eds.), Disagreement 187–215. Four examples of recent work taking the debate in new directions are De Cruz, Helen and De Smedt, John, ‘The Value of Epistemic Disagreement in Scientific Practice: The Case of Homo Floresiensis’, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (2013), 169–177CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Faulkner, Paul, ‘Agency and Disagreement’, in Reider, Patrick (ed.), Social Epistemology and Epistemic Agency: Decentralizing the Epistemic Agent (London: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016), 75–90Google Scholar; Matheson, Jonathan, ‘Disagreement and the Ethics of Belief’, in Collier, James H. (ed.), The Future of Social Epistemology: A Collective Vision (London: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016), 139–147Google Scholar; Peter, Fabienne, ‘The Epistemic Circumstances of Democracy’, in Fricker, Miranda and Brady, Michael (eds.), The Epistemic Life of Groups (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), 133–149CrossRefGoogle Scholar.
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