Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE)

Reader 1

Adrienne Martin

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2018 Alexia C Lipman


Epistemic injustice is a relatively new philosophical term for a rather old phenomenon. A situation is said to be epistemically unjust when someone is wronged in his capacity to possess or convey knowledge. While anyone can be the victim of a testimonial injustice, the epistemic injustice that occurs in an exchange of testimony, people with marginalized identities systematically suffer from this kind of injustice. By relying on negative identity prejudices, a person in a position of power consciously or subconsciously undermines a marginalized individual’s capacity for knowledge.

In this paper, I argue that persistent testimonial injustice can inhibit the formation of one’s identity. Then I explore the role that communities may play in ameliorating this harm. I suggest that communities are conceptualized differently depending on their purpose (e.g. psychological melioration or political resistance). In the final part of this paper, I examine two conceptions of communities put forth by María Lugones and Iris Marion Young and determine whether they can provide both psychological and political resources for resistance.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.