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Dotson, Kristie. Conceptualizing Epistemic Oppression
2014, Social Epistemology 28 (2):115-138.
Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Corbin Covington

Abstract: Epistemic oppression refers to persistent epistemic exclusion that hinders one’s contribution to knowledge production. The tendency to shy away from using the term ‘epistemic oppression’ may follow from an assumption that epistemic forms of oppression are generally reducible to social and political forms of oppression. While I agree that many exclusions that compromise one’s ability to contribute to the production of knowledge can be reducible to social and political forms of oppression, there still exists distinctly irreducible forms of epistemic oppression. In this paper, I claim that a major point of distinction between reducible and irreducible epistemic oppression is the major source of difficulty one faces in addressing each kind of oppression, i.e. epistemic power or features of epistemological systems. Distinguishing between reducible and irreducible forms of epistemic oppression can offer a better understanding of what is at stake in deploying the term and when such deployment is apt.

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