C. Recent Work in Applied Virtue Theory > Ian J. Kidd on "Epistemic Injustice and Illness"

Kidd has a forthcoming (2013) conference paper at

Abstract. In this paper, we argue that ill persons can suffer from epistemic injustice in the sense articulated by Miranda Fricker (2007). Ill persons can suffer testimonial injustices because they are regarded as cognitively unreliable, emotionally compromised, or existentially insecure in ways that render their testimonies suspect. Ill persons can also suffer hermeneutical injustices because their efforts to engage in the collective project of sharing and interpreting their experiences are often compromised by the entrenched norms and prejudices of contemporary healthcare. These kinds of injustices can arise for both somatic and mental illness and we identify how they arise from the presumptive claims about the epistemically privileged status of healthcare professionals. We close the paper by proposing that phenomenology can play an important role in ameliorating both kinds of epistemic injustice by helping to close the gaps in collective hermeneutical resources which otherwise prevent ill persons from sharing and making sense of their experiences of illness and identifies as ill persons.
November 29, 2012 | Registered CommenterGuy Axtell
Just to add that this paper is co-authored with Havi Carel (University of Bristol).
January 19, 2013 | Registered CommenterIan James Kidd
This sounds very interesting--I'd like to see the paper. In my class I recently used, and like, Philip Kitcher's paper "Militant Modern Atheism," [Journal of Applied Philosophy,Vol. 28, No. 1, 2011
doi: 10.1111/j.1468-5930.2010.00500.x]

Have you seen that paper? It has a strongly overlapping focus as yours, but he criticizes both sides and says that his challenge "is to develop a well-articulated and convincing version of secular humanism." Here's its abstract:

Abstract. Militant modern atheism, whose most eloquent champion is Richard Dawkins, provides an effective and necessary critique of fundamentalist forms of religion and their role in political life, both within states and across national boundaries. Because it is also presented as a
more general attack on religion (tout court), it has provoked a severe reaction from scholars who regard its conception of religion as shallow and narrow. My aim is to examine this debate, identifying insights and oversights on both sides.
Two distinct conceptions of religion are in play.For Dawkins and his allies (most notably Dan Dennett) religions are grounded in doctrines, propositions about supernatural entities, events and processes which the devout believe. Their beliefs prompt them to actions, which they support or rationalize by reference to the doctrines.Dawkins and Dennett view the acceptance of the doctrines as resting on cognitive misfiring — these are delusions to be outgrown or spells to be broken.
By contrast, the religious scholars who criticize the militant atheists often view religion as centered in social practices that inform and enrich human lives. To the extent that there are doctrines that atheists might subject to epistemic evaluation, these are to be viewed as pieces of
scaffolding, that are, in principle, dispensable. I argue that militant modern atheism is incomplete (and likely counter-productive) so long as
it fails to attend systematically to the roles religion fulfills in human lives.Yet it is important to achieve public clarity about the literal falsehood of the doctrines on which fundamentalists rely. The challenge is to develop a well-articulated and convincing version of secular humanism.
Meeting that challenge is, I claim, one of the central problems of philosophy today."
January 23, 2013 | Registered CommenterGuy Axtell
Hi Guy, yes, I know that paper - in a couple of papers (one forthcoming in 'Religious Studies' and the other under review) I challenge Kitcher's 'enlightened secularism' on three grounds:

First, that it relies upon a facile conception of the nature of religious belief, such that the strategies he suggests for challenging religious belief won't work, at least not in the majority of cases.

Second, that the alternative secular 'surrogates' that he talks about won't do the sort of moral and existential work that religious persons need them to, at least not for the majority of religious persons.

Third, that the secular public reason he advocates - in 'MMA' and another paper in 'Episteme' - (a) won't persuade religious persons who have different estimations of the cognitive and cultural authority of the sciences and (b) won't work because it's premised on precisely the epistemic convictions that secularism disputes are premised on.

(But was your comment aimed at the 'Epistemic Vices' paper about new atheism?)

January 23, 2013 | Registered CommenterIan James Kidd