2009 Annual Lecture: Keele Forum for Philosophical Research

Dr Miranda FrickerEpistemic Injustice

Institutionalised Silencing: Group Prejudice and Testimonial Injustice

Tuesday, 2 November 2009

6.00 pm – 7.30 pm Conference Room

Claus Moser Building, Keele University


When someone speaks but is not heard because of their accent, or their sex, or the colour of their skin, they suffer a distinctive form of injustice called testimonial injustice. This is not only an ethical problem but also a political one; for citizens are not free unless they get a fair hearing when they try to contest wrongful treatment. I shall argue that not only individuals but also public institutions need to have the virtue of testimonial justice; and I shall suggest a general model for understanding institutional virtue. If our police, our juries, our complaints panels lack the virtue of testimonial justice, then some groups cannot contest. And if they can¹t contest, then they lack political freedom.


Dr Miranda Fricker is Reader in the School of Philosophy at Birkbeck College. Her main areas of interest are in ethics, epistemology, and in those regions of feminist philosophy that concern social identity, power, and the authority of reason. Her book, Epistemic Injustice: Power and the Ethics of Knowing (OUP, 2007), explores how relations of social power and identity impinge in our epistemic practices to produce distinctively epistemic forms of injustice—injustices in which someone is undermined specifically in their capacity as a knower. She co-edited The Cambridge Companion to Feminism in Philosophy (2000); and she is co-author of Reading Ethics (2008), an introductory textbook giving interactive commentaries on classic texts in moral philosophy. Most recently her work has focussed on the significance of situating our epistemic practices, including moral epistemic practices, in time – both real time, and the semi-fictional time of genealogical explanation.

Earlier this year, she gave the Simone Weil Lectures on Human Value, held in Sidney and Melbourne.


Keele Forum for Philosophical Research is part of the Centre for International Studies, Politics and Philosophy in the Research Institute of Law, Politics and Justice. The Forum was officially launched in November 2008 with an opening lecture given by Dr Giuseppina D’Oro.

Apart from the Annual Lecture, the Forum organises the following events:

The Royal Institute of Philosophy Invited Lecture Series (2009/10 Convenors: Dr James Tartaglia and Dr Sorin Baiasu)

The Political Philosophy Seminar Series (2009/10 Convenor: Dr Monica Mookherjee)

The Philosophy Summer Seminar Series (2009/10 Convenor: Dr Sorin Baiasu)

Reading Groups and other events (Members of the Keele Forum)