Georgi Gardiner. Banal Skepticism and the Errors of Doubt: On Ephecticism about Rape Accusations
2021, Midwest Studies in Philosophy
Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by: AnonymousAbstract: Ephecticism is the tendency towards suspension of belief. Epistemology often focuses on the error of believing when one ought to doubt. The converse error—doubting when one ought to believe—is relatively underexplored. This essay examines the errors of undue doubt. I draw on the relevant alternatives framework to diagnose and remedy undue doubts about rape accusations. Doubters tend to invoke standards for belief that are too demanding, for example, and underestimate how farfetched uneliminated error possibilities are. They mistake seeing how incriminating evidence is compatible with innocence for a reason to withhold judgement. Rape accusations help illuminate the causes and normativity of doubt. I propose a novel kind of epistemic injustice, for example, wherein patterns of unwarranted attention to farfetched error possibilities can cause those error possibilities to become relevant. Widespread unreasonable doubt thus renders doubt reasonable and makes it harder to know rape accusations. Finally, I emphasise that doubt is often a conservative force and I argue that the relevant alternatives framework helps defend against pernicious doubt-mongers.Export citation in BibTeX formatExport text citationView this text on PhilPapersExport citation in Reference Manager formatExport citation in EndNote formatExport citation in Zotero format
Nussbaum, Martha. Objectification
1995, Philosophy and Public Affairs 24(4): 249-291.
Added by: Simon FoktIntroduction: Sexual objectification is a familiar concept. Once a relatively technical term in feminist theory, associated in particular with the work of Catharine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin, the word "objectification" has by now passed into many people's daily lives. It is common to hear it used to criticize advertisements, films, and other representations, and also to express skepticism about the attitudes and intentions of one person to another, or of oneself to someone else. Generally it is used as a pejorative term, connoting a way of speaking, thinking, and acting that the speaker finds morally or socially objectionable, usually, though not always, in the sexual realm. Thus, Catharine MacKinnon writes of pornography, "Admiration of natural physical beauty becomes objectification. Harmlessness becomes harm."' The portrayal of women "dehumanized as sexual objects, things, or commodities" is, in fact, the first category of pornographic material made actionable under MacKinnon and Dworkin's proposed Minneapolis ordinance.2 The same sort of pejorative use is very common in ordinary social discussions of people and events.
Comment: Seminal paper distinguishing seven features of sexual objectification. An excellent introduction to any class on feminism.Export citation in BibTeX formatExport text citationView this text on PhilPapersExport citation in Reference Manager formatExport citation in EndNote formatExport citation in Zotero format
Can’t find it?
Contribute the texts you think should be here and we’ll add them soon!
Comment: Applies epistemology's relevant alternatives theory to diagnosis why rape accusations are doubted so much. It outlines the theory first, so no need for a pre-read. Identifies the tricks and mistakes of "doubt mongers", who refuse to believe despite good evidence. Good for an applied philosophy, feminism, or upper-level epistemology course. Also good to interject current topics / MeToo into a course. Comes with a "cheat sheet" (i.e. a handout that outlines the published essay, to make teaching it easier). A word and PDF version of the cheat sheet are here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1Uyki8vj7_FkVHcmThrAbEiw5-BtRSF0n