Graduation Year

2020

Date of Submission

5-2020

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Award

Best Senior Thesis in Philosophy

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Philosophy

Reader 1

Dustin Locke

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© 2020 Grace F Kelleher

Abstract

In this thesis, I expand on Miranda Fricker’s account of epistemic injustice by advancing an additional model of testimonial injustice. This model, called stakes-sensitive testimonial injustice posits that an individual may incur an epistemic harm when his or her testimony is measured against a threshold for belief that has been unjustly influenced due to prejudiced stakes considerations on the part of the hearer. In particular, I focus on our society’s tendency to hold the statements of women who testify about their experiences of sexual assault to high thresholds for belief and posit that this tendency stems from a biased understanding of the relevant stakes. Because my model of testimonial injustice is meant to add to rather than supplant Miranda Fricker’s account, I contend that individuals may be vulnerable to testimonial injustice on both models. A speaker may simultaneously experience a Frickerian unjust credibility deficit, as well as have their testimony measured against a standard for belief that has been arrived at unjustly.

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