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The Epistemology of Justice

Friday, March 22, 2019, 11:00 PM - 1:00 AM

The Epistemology of Justice
Elizabeth Anderson, University of Michigan
Friday, March 22, 2019
4:00 PM Lecture, Reception to follow
123 Fogelman Executive Center
Convenient and affordable parking in the Innovation Garage
Simco Lecture and Keynote for The Southern Journal of Philosophy Workshop
This lecture is jointly sponsored by the Department of Philosophy, The Southern Journal of Philosophy, and the Marcus W. Orr Center for the Humanities.

It is commonly supposed that reaching agreement on the facts is easy, while disagreement about values is intractable. Yet we often observe that different sides ostensibly accept common moral principles, but reach different conclusions about the justice of existing practices and institutions because they disagree about the facts. I explore the reasons for this phenomenon, working from a naturalistic conception of justice as a kind of social contract, along with recent work on ideology. One implication of this investigation is that epistemic injustice is critical to maintaining other forms of injustice. This suggests some strategies for discovering what justice actually demands in particular contexts.

Elizabeth Anderson is Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and John Dewey Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy and Women’s Studies at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where she has taught since 1987. She is a former President of the Central Division of the American Philosophical Association and member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. A specialist in moral and political philosophy, social and feminist epistemology, and the philosophy of the social sciences, Professor Anderson has written numerous, widely reprinted articles in journals of philosophy, law, and economics, as well as Value in Ethics and Economics (Harvard UP, 1993), The Imperative of Integration (Princeton UP, 2010), and Private Government: How Employers Rule Our Lives (and Why We Don’t Talk About It) (Princeton UP, 2017). She is currently working on moral epistemology and the history of egalitarianism.

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