Accepted Paper:

Epistemic injustice, children and mental illness  


Edward Harcourt (University of Oxford)
Kate Martin (UCL)

Paper short abstract:

The paper argues that the experiences of health services both of children and of the mentally ill challenge some formulations of the notion of epistemic injustice, and proposes an alternative formulation.

Paper long abstract:

A form of epistemic injustice - testimonial injustice - has wide application in contexts where race and gender stereotypes operate in limiting, or alternatively inflating, a person's credibility. There is evidence that (not) being listened to affects service users' satisfaction with mental health services, and the services' therapeutic efficacy. However, some formulations of testimonial injustice suggest that only fully rational adults meet the standard for being knowers, and therefore for suffering epistemic injustice. Intuitively, however, that is just what children and the mentally ill do suffer - though not always in the same way - when they complain of not being listened to. We suggest ways of refashioning the notion of testimonial injustice so as to capture these cases.

Panel Med06
Hermeneutical injustice, clinical imagination and patient discontent in mental healthcare