Miranda Fricker

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Miranda Fricker
Born12 March 1966 (1966-03-12) (age 53)[1]
Alma materWolfson College, Oxford
EraContemporary philosophy
RegionWestern philosophy
SchoolAnalytic philosophy, feminist philosophy
Main interests
Ethics, feminist epistemology, feminism
Notable ideas
Epistemic injustice

Miranda Fricker, FBA (born 12 March 1966) is an English philosopher who is currently Presidential Professor of Philosophy at the City University of New York Graduate Center. Fricker coined the term epistemic injustice, the concept of an injustice done against someone "specifically in their capacity as a knower", and explored the concept in her 2007 book Epistemic Injustice. She is also a Research Professor of Philosophy part-time at the University of Sheffield.[2]

Education and career[edit]

She received her DPhil from the University of Oxford before taking up a Jacobsen Research Fellowship and later a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of London. Until 2012 she was Reader in Philosophy and Head of the Philosophy Department at Birkbeck, University of London.[3] Her research interests include ethics, epistemology, and feminist philosophy. She was elected a Fellow of the British Academy (FBA) in 2016.[4]

Philosophical work[edit]

Fricker is most well known for her exploration of "epistemic injustice," the act of wronging someone "in their capacity as a knower." In her 2007 book Epistemic Injustice, Fricker argues that in addition to social or political injustices faced by women (and minority groups), there can be epistemic injustices as well. She identifies two forms of epistemic injustice: testimonial injustice and hermeneutical injustice.

Testimonial injustice consists in prejudices that cause one to "give a deflated level of credibility to a speaker's word":[5] Fricker gives the example of a woman who due to her gender is not believed in a business meeting. She may make a good case, but prejudice causes the listeners to believe her arguments to be less competent or sincere and thus less believable. In this kind of case, Fricker argues that as well as there being an injustice caused by possible outcomes (such as the speaker missing a promotion at work), there is a testimonial injustice: "a kind of injustice in which someone is wronged specifically in her capacity as a knower".[6] She offers "testimonial justice" as a solution, and argues that “what is needed on the part of the hearer in order to avert a testimonial injustice—and in order to serve his own epistemic interest in the truth—is a corrective anti‐prejudicial virtue that is distinctively reflexive in structure,” such that the reflexive correction bends the credibility assignment upwards or downwards in order to “neutralize the impact of prejudice in his credibility judgments." [7]

Hermeneutical injustice is the kind of injustice experienced by groups who, because due to prejudice they have been less able to participate in the practices that generate new concepts (e.g. writing popular books and newspaper articles), lack the shared social resources to make sense of their experiences. One consequence of such injustice is that such individuals might be less inclined to believe their own testimony. For example, Fricker describes a woman attending a meeting in the late 1960s at which post-partum depression was discussed; in this case, the shared social resource - a linguistic label and sharing of experiences - enabled an understanding of a condition she had experienced and was previously blamed for.[8]

Prior to writing Epistemic Injustice, Fricker co-edited The Cambridge Companion to Feminism in Philosophy (2000) with Jennifer Hornsby.

Selected publications[edit]


  • The Epistemic Life of Groups: Essays in the Epistemology of Collectives, eds. Brady & Fricker (Oxford University Press, 2016)
  • Epistemic Injustice: Power and the Ethics of Knowing (Oxford University Press, 2007)
  • The Cambridge Companion to Feminism in Philosophy, co-edited with Jennifer Hornsby (Cambridge University Press, 2000)

Selected articles[edit]

  • "Powerlessness and Social Interpretation", Episteme: A Journal of Social Epistemology Vol. 3 Issue 1-2 (2006); 96-108
  • "Epistemic Injustice and A Role for Virtue in the Politics of Knowing", Metaphilosophy vol. 34 Nos. 1/2 Jan 2003; reprinted in M. Brady and D. Pritchard eds. Moral and Epistemic Virtues (Blackwell, 2003)
  • "Life-Story in Beauvoir’s Memoirs", The Cambridge Companion to Simone de Beauvoir ed. Claudia Card (CUP, 2003)
  • "Confidence and Irony", Morality, Reflection, and Ideology ed. Edward Harcourt (OUP, 2000)
  • "Pluralism Without Postmodernism", The Cambridge Companion to Feminism in Philosophy eds. M. Fricker and J. Hornsby (CUP, 2000)


  1. ^ http://www.shef.ac.uk/polopoly_fs/1.463732!/file/CV.pdf
  2. ^ https://www.shef.ac.uk/philosophy/staff/profiles/fricker
  3. ^ http://www.shef.ac.uk/philosophy/staff/profiles/fricker
  4. ^ "British Academy announces new President and elects 66 new Fellows". 15 Jul 2016.
  5. ^ Miranda Fricker (September 2007). Epistemic Injustice: Power and the Ethics of Knowing. Oxford University Press. p. 1. ISBN 9780199570522. Retrieved 23 March 2019.
  6. ^ Miranda Fricker (September 2007). Epistemic Injustice: Power and the Ethics of Knowing. Oxford University Press. p. 20. ISBN 9780199570522. Retrieved 23 March 2019.
  7. ^ Miranda Fricker (September 2007). Epistemic Injustice: Power and the Ethics of Knowing. Oxford University Press. p. 92. ISBN 9780199570522. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  8. ^ Miranda Fricker (September 2007). "7". Epistemic Injustice: Power and the Ethics of Knowing. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199570522. Retrieved 23 March 2019.

External links[edit]

  • Homepage at The City of New York University (CUNY) Graduate Center website
  • Homepage at The University of Sheffield School of Philosophy website
  • Homepage at Birkbeck School of Philosophy website
  • Code, Lorraine (12 March 2008). "Review of Epistemic Injustice". Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews. Retrieved 23 April 2016.