Today: Philosophy of Medicine Seminar with Dr Ian James Kidd on ‘Epistemic Injustice and Illness’

We are very pleased to announce that Ian James Kidd, Department of Philosophy Affiliate, Durham University, will be our next speaker for the Philosophy of Medicine seminar series. Ian will present a paper, co-authored with Havi Carel, titled ‘Epistemic Injustice and Illness’.

Dr Ian Kidd is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Philosophy at Durham University. Ian works on epistemology, philosophy of science, philosophy of medicine, and philosophy of religion, and in October 2012 began a three year funded research project entitled Epistemic Humility.

Ill persons often complain that their doctor doesn’t listen to them, that what they say is ignored or marginalised, or that they find it difficult to put their experiences of illness into words and to help others understand. Such testimonial and hermeneutical inabilities are invariably frustrating, often distressing, and in certain cases can severely and negatively impact upon the patients’ medical care. In this paper we argue that these complaints can be usefully articulated and assessed using the concept of epistemic injustice introduced by Miranda Fricker. Using her account we argue that ill persons are especially vulnerable to epistemic injustice and make two claims. The first is that ill persons can and so suffer testimonial injustices because they are often prejudicially judged to be cognitively incapable, emotionally compromised, or existentially insecure in ways that deflates the credibility of their testimonies. The second is that ill person can also suffer hermeneutical injustices because their efforts to engage in the collective project of sharing and interpreting their experiences of illness are often compromised by certain of the entrenched norms and structures of contemporary healthcare. With these two claims in place, we then sketch out several possible ways of challenging epistemic injustice in illness and suggest key roles for phenomenology and the medical humanities.

Location: room 7.17, Virginia Woolf Building, 22 Kingsway.
When: 26/11/2013 (13:30-15:00)
For any enquiries contact Dr Emma Bullock, convenor of the Philosophy of Medicine seminar series:


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