Mansplaining as Epistemic Injustice

Feminist Philosophy Quarterly 7 (1) (2021)
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Abstract

“Mansplaining” is by now part of the common cultural vernacular. Yet, academic analyses of it—specifically, philosophical ones—are missing. This paper sets out to address just that problem. Analyzed through a lens of epistemic injustice, the focus of the analysis concerns both what it is, and what its harms are. I argue it is a form of epistemic injustice distinct from testimonial injustice wherein there is a dysfunctional subversion of the epistemic roles of hearer and speaker in a testimonial exchange. As these are roles of power and are crucial to our existence and functioning within epistemic communities, the wrong and harms suffered from this injustice are serious and, I argue, distinct from other types already discussed in the literature. I close by considering an alternative model of mansplaining as a form of silencing, as well as briefly diagnosing its general underlying cause and possible solutions.

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Nicole Dular
Franklin College, Indiana

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