SOPhiA 2018

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programme - Talk

The Shaping of Epistemic Resources
(Epistemology, English)

The concept of epistemic injustice, which addresses a wrong in one's capacity as a knower, has received widespread recognition since its introduction (Fricker 2007). While many argued to widen its extension, Fricker restricts the concept to a wrong were there is no purpose to wrong (Fricker 2017). Thereby, she opposes the concept of willful hermeneutical ignorance (Dotson 2012, Pohlhaus, Jr. 2012) which addresses the refusal of epistemic resources by dominantly situated knowers.
I aim for two interwoven projects: (1) I utilize the concept of hermeneutical injustice to give an analysis of addiction in gaming contexts, and (2), based on this analysis, argue against Fricker's restriction.
I consider two actors participating in gaming contexts: The players, including addicted players, and the video game industry. I identify a dysfunctional concept of addiction in these contexts, obscuring the social experiences within. I trace back that dysfunction in the community's efforts to repel stigma attached to addiction or to appropriate the concept, reverse its pathological connotation. I analyse the dysfunction utilizing the concept of hermeneutical injustice.
Subsequently, I shift to the video game industry and follow their attempts to influence epistemic resources regarding video games. Since the label of addiction may lead to law restrictions, the video game industry has an economic interest in shaping epistemic resources by denying any relation of games to addiction. I analyse the industry's stance utilizing the concept of willful hermeneutical ignorance.
The concept of epistemic injustice aims not only to identify but to change problems it addresses. I claim that in order to understand the problem in the former analysis we need an understanding of the latter and vice versa. Thus, it would be insufficient to merely operate with hermeneutical injustice. A wholesome account on the social situation of addiction in gaming contexts has to include both actors and both analyses in a unified account.

Chair: Robert Pal
Time: 12:00-12:30, 14 September 2018 (Friday)
Location: SR 1.004

Jakob Eichler 
(Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany)

Jakob Eichler's research interests concern philosophical perspectives on addiction apart from questions of autonomy, capability or anthropology. He implements concepts from feminist philosophy, social epistemology and critical theory to provide structural explanations for the phenomenon of addiction. Identifying himself as affected, he is always interested in application-oriented and interdisciplinary solutions for the problems prompted by the analysis.

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