Departmental Seminar: Ms Leonie Smith (Manchester) and Ms Penelope Orr (Manchester)
|Starts:||15:00 20 Feb 2019|
|Ends:||17:00 20 Feb 2019|
|What is it:||Seminar|
|Organiser:||School of Social Sciences|
Leonie Smith's Title
- Epistemic self-defence: flipping the narrative of addressing epistemic injustice
Leonie Smith's Abstract
- In this paper I ask: when it comes to resisting epistemic oppression, what might those experiencing it permissibly and practically do to protect themselves from harm?
A person experiences an epistemic injustice when she is harmed in her capacity as a knower, as a result of prejudice. Call the individuals who are subject to these injustices, ‘marginalised knowers’ and those who perpetuate them, ‘dominant knowers’. The literature on epistemic injustice has predominantly focused on (i) identifying the various forms and practices of epistemic injustice 2007; Hookway, 2010; Dotson 2011; 2012; 2014; Pohlhaus, 2013; Davis, 2016, 2018; Berenstain, 2016; Archer and Smith, forthcoming; (ii) discussing what dominant knowers can do to stop themselves perpetuating it and / or structurally, e.g., Anderson, 2012; and (iii) lobbying for recognition of the particular capabilities and insight of marginalised knowers Medina, 2013.
However, this focus on persuading and educating dominant knowers to reduce epistemic injustice has meant that the perspective of marginalised knowers in resisting epistemic injustice for themselves has been almost entirely overlooked. In this paper I lay out the groundwork for an account in which we begin to address that serious and significant gap. This is an account of a new concept of epistemic self-defence: the legitimate practice by marginalised knowers of intentional cognitive manipulation of dominant knowers in order to prevent, address, or minimise the impact of epistemic injustice.
I propose two initial primary strategies:
(a) epistemic nudging (combining tools from epistemic paternalism and ethical nudging); and
(b) epistemic negotiation (combining corporate sales and hostage negotiation tactics).
Raising and addressing some possible concerns with this new field of epistemic self-defence, I argue that when it comes to (often localised) epistemic self-defence there is a great deal more to be said about what those of us who are marginalised knowers might effectively do, and about what we might permissibly do. Reframing the issue of epistemic injustice in this way allows us to give at least some control back to marginalised knowers, offering real solutions to those knowers in a fundamentally epistemically unjust world.
Penelope Orr's Title
- Visual Perspective and Primitive Self-Awareness
Penelope Orr's Abstract
- This paper investigates a form of pre-reflective self-consciousness. In particular, I ask whether visual experience is self-locating? I.e., is it true that, purely in virtue of its perspectival character, visual experience can represent the location of the perceiver as the location from which she perceives? The idea is that when someone perceives the objects in their environment they experience them as standing in spatial relations to themselves. So, in addition to the objects and their spatial location, the perceivers own location is among the things represented by the experience. Some philosophers – notably, Christopher Peacocke (2000, 2014) and Quassim Cassam (1994) – have assumed that visual experience is self-locating in this sense, yet the claim is rarely argued for explicitly. In this paper, I argue that the most natural interpretation of the perspectival structure of visual experience suggests that visual representations are, in fact, selfless. I also consider the main argument in favour of self-location – a paper by John Schwenkler (2014) – and go on to show that this argument is inadequately motivated.
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