Title

Moral Encroachment and the Epistemic Impermissibility of (some) Microaggressions

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-2021

Publisher

Springer

Source Publication

Synthese

Source ISSN

0039-7857

Original Item ID

DOI: 10.1007/s11229-021-03201-9

Abstract

A recent flurry of philosophical research on microaggression suggests that there are various practical and moral reasons why microaggression may be objectionable, including that it can be offensive, cause epistemic harms, express demeaning messages about certain members of our society, and help to reproduce an oppressive social order. Yet little attention has been given to the question of whether microaggression is also epistemically objectionable. This paper aims to further our understanding of microaggression by appealing to recent work on moral encroachment—the idea that knowledge is sensitive to the moral stakes of believing—to argue that microaggression can be irrational in a distinctively epistemic sense, as it can involve relying on an epistemically unwarranted belief. This view suggests that the notion of epistemic justification may come apart from the notion of epistemic blame.

Comments

Synthese, Vol. 199, No. 3-4 (December 2021): 9237-9256. DOI.

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