Epistemic Injustice and Illness
Dr Ian James Kidd, Department of Philosophy, Durham University
Dr Havi Carel, Department of Philosophy, University of Bristol.
Monday 24th June 2013, 5pm
Williams Library, St Chad’s College, Durham
In this paper, we argue that ill persons can suffer from epistemic injustice in the sense articulated by Miranda Fricker (2007). Using reports from ill persons and their carers, we identify four types of epistemic injustice: testimonial and hermeneutical injustice and participatory and informational prejudice. These forms of injustice arise owing to a variety of features of the social experience of ill persons, including prejudicial judgments about the status of their emotional and cognitive faculties and certain entrenched features of contemporary healthcare practice, amongst others. We close the paper by proposing that phenomenology can play an important role in ameliorating the epistemic injustice experienced by ill persons by helping them to close the gaps in collective hermeneutical resources which otherwise prevent them from sharing and making sense of their experiences of illness and their identities as ill persons.
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