7 Sep 2022


Common Epistemological Questions

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What are we assessing when we determine whether acceptance of a speaker's utterance is justified? 

The assertion of any testimonial has to be assessed based on several factors, thus, proving the trustworthiness of any given information from the source. Although there are contentious issues when it comes to the assertion of phenomena, several mechanisms have been theorised for use in the declaration of such information and their sources. The critical views are assessed in the outer presentation of the source or hidden facts. For instance, the mood of the speaker will help a lot in determining the trustworthiness of any information hence an outer assertion mechanism. Inner mechanisms may involve now the judgment of the credibility of the information presented. Some of the most used assertion tools include speech acts, pragmatics, social character, self-representation, cognition, and norms. 

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Speech arts involve the ascetic quality of the source regarding presenting their information, are they making a statement? Cautioning or even purporting to create a threat based on the information they present. Pragmatics is when there is a twist or a derivative of information presented to mean other things (Fricker, 2011). A social character is a tool that the hearer use to judge the credibility of the information based on how the information is represented or in another case the relationship between the sender and receiver and prior engagements. Self-representation comes in the delivery of information, how the source is described outwardly creates belief or further reinforces on the information being presented. All the above parameters do not carry any information yet from the source, cognition, therefore, is how well the sender tries to drive his point home and ensure what he asserts is exactly what the hearer gets. Norms are guidelines on how the sources present their information to the audience. These are just but a few of what justifies the assertion of testimonies by the hearers. 

Explain the concept of hermeneutical injustice and provide an example of it. 

Hermeneutical injustice happens when one is put at a disadvantage when basing on social experiences. People judge others before the information they present. This hermeneutical injustice is usually as a cause of collective resources related to hermeneutics. The primary harm from these injustices is that one experiences exclusion from those that identify socially with those being mistreated ( Fricker, 2011 ). Therefore this hinders to a great extent the ability of these subjects to articulate their experiences in an intelligent way. Therefore one forms an impoverished construct in line with self-identity and how they find themselves hence a very low self-esteem. 

A typical example of hermeneutical injustice in the contemporary society in America is the Islamophobia issue ( Fricker, 2011 ). The newly elected president of the United States put across an order to ban entry of Muslims in United States borders from almost seven countries. Muslim individuals face hermeneutical injustices daily with being discriminated against by other American citizens. In the case of any threat from terrorist attacks, Muslims are often directed pointed fingers, and people tend to judge them from a religious point of view. 

Fricker in her Epistemic Justice, therefore, tries to form a contingency to this situation, however, not giving it a name says, there are possible routes that can be taken to salvage the situation and render those discriminated not gone cases rather can be saved ( Fricker, 2011 ). People should be sensitive to what others go through as these might be difficult situations that emanate from within hence keener attention should be provided. Therefore, hermeneutical justice demands that the judgment should only come after an in-depth account of the subjects’ position in the society and those judging them. The society should, therefore, provide an environment to shun away from judging one another along religious lines since not all Muslims are extremists. 

To what does justification of testimony as a source of belief reduce on her view? 

The reduction is seen in the way the holders of the epistemological interests is that there age general tellings and that there is no restrictions on either the subject of the matter or the epistemological relation of the subject matter ( Fricker, 2011 ). We have to get the notion that people normally tell us things when we are talking about testimonies. The extent of accepting the testimony, for reductionists will also depend on the facts that have been provided that go along with the testimony. There should be some link between the reports and what the speakers are doing. There is also the use of reason, logic and own judgment that some source of information is genuine and valid and can be used as a source of information. 

Compare and contrast local reductionism and non-reductionism (anti-reductionism) about testimony? Which is more plausible, and why? 

In any given form of testimonial presentation, there is need to assert its authenticity and level of trust accorded to the statement. The audience of any given information, therefore, are left with the greater responsibility of deciding the truthfulness and trustworthiness of the presented testimony (Fricker, 2011). Some factors come into consideration in information assertion, and they include perception, learning, memory and inference. When it comes to justification of testimonies about these parameters, the epistemological testimony problem is represented. Therefore reductionists try to negatively assert testimonies by pointing out faults as opposed to anti-reductionists who work on prior grounds that take testimonies as warranted and no reduction is done irrespective of its empirical dependence. 

Reductionists tend to be critical in testimony justification on a posterior basis, therefore, making the adoption of such testimonies dependent on notable perception, memory, and induction. Anti-reductionist, on the other hand, depends on the perception of the source. Often it applies in cases where the hearer has little knowledge in the field of the source’s testimony. Often they are knowledge by the speaker, promising of some sort and testimonial principles. Most findings and science testimonies presented to an audience tend to take on the anti-reductionist thesis. 

These two, however, work hand in hand for there to be a proper assertion of testimonials from any source. Reductionism, however, tends to take the upper hand in the assertion of any report presented to any audience. Posterior basis ensures that any testimonial if taken through thorough scrutiny before it is adopted as the plain truth. This, therefore, reduces chances of there being misinformation and is mostly applied in technical fields that do not tolerate error. Therefore for mission critical information, cross referencing is very important since it may be the thin line that separates survival from fatalities. 


Fricker, M. (2011).  Epistemic injustice  (1st ed.). Oxford [u.a.]: Oxford University Press. 

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 16). Common Epistemological Questions .


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