The politics of relevant alternatives

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Abstract

The main aim of this article is to use the resources of relevant-alternatives contextualism to provide an account of an unrecognized form of epistemic injustice that I call irrelevance-injustice. Irrelevance-injustice occurs either when a speaker raises an alternative that is not taken seriously when it should be, or when a speaker raises an alternative that is taken seriously when it should not be. Irrelevance-injustice influences what alternatives are perceived to be relevant and patterns of knowledge ascriptions in ways that are unfair. Asymmetries in whose alternatives are taken seriously affect how many alternatives members of different groups must rule out prior to being ascribed knowledge. Because knowledge ascriptions have socially valuable functions, asymmetries in whose alternatives are taken seriously mean asymmetries in who gets to do socially valuable things with knowledge ascriptions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)743 - 764
Number of pages22
JournalHypatia: a journal of feminist philosophy
Volume37
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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