Examples Of Hermeneutical Injustice

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In this paper, I would like to argue that people with medical condition the is still misunderstood and largely undiagnosed does experience hermeneutical injustice, rather than a mere circumstantial epistemic bad luck as categorized by Miranda Fricker (2007). The argument provided by Fricker for differentiating hermeneutical injustice and circumstantial epistemic bad luck is invalid most of the time. This is because those patients continually experience unequal hermeneutical participation and background social conditions that maintained the relevant hermeneutical gap. Before presenting my arguments, I would first examine Fricker’s view on hermeneutical injustice and the poignant case of circumstantial epistemic bad luck. Next, the unequal social…show more content…
Even if questions about his feelings were being asked, questions that are opposing to the doctor’s judgements are barely asked. Patients are usually hermeneutically marginalized in a way that their views are often being excluded from epistemic consideration. This may be attributed by the difference in social position of doctors and patients. Doctors usually hold greater social power than patients due to their profession. The power can be exercised unconsciously to marginalize the hermeneutical participation of the relatively powerless patient groups. In the case of diseases that are highly infectious and fatal, the usual response is avoiding contact with those patients instead of searching and learning more information about that disease. Hence, the medical condition remains misunderstood. Salient negative resources are more likely to be left in the hermeneutical pool because those are the ones which are noticeable to the dominant group. True resources that captures the patients’ medical situation and experience can be ignored. Hence, there is a prejudicial exclusion from the pooling of knowledge, which is the primary harm of hermeneutical injustice identified by Fricker. Consider the following case: there is a disease that has similar symptoms as being physically abused, in which bruises and bone fracture are the common and frequent symptom. Patients with such disease visited several large hospitals, but all medical staffs conclude that the patient has been physically abused and refuse to agree that they are symptoms of a disease or investigate further. The medical staffs have used the usual interpretation of treating the presence of bruises and bone fracture as a physical abuse in preference of accepting the very unlikely but true interpretation held by the patients. Those who are living or had close contact with the patients with such disease may be accused of physically

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