Philosophy of Protest and Epistemic Activism

José Medina*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


This chapter contributes to the philosophy of protest by developing a framework for the analysis of the communicative dynamics in protest acts and protest movements. This contribution to the philosophy of protest will be mainly in the areas of applied philosophy of language and political epistemology. The chapter develops a communicative account of protest that highlights some of the epistemic obstacles and dysfunctions that protest acts and protest movements face, especially forms of silencing and epistemic injustice. It analyzes different kinds of epistemic injustice that contribute to the silencing of protest but also to the communicative and epistemic downgrading of protest acts and protest movements (testimonial, hermeneutical, and agential epistemic injustice). Public protests articulate public criticisms, make evaluative claims, and sometimes develop evaluative arguments. Cases of group testimonial injustice, like the ones experienced by protest movements, can block or undermine group agency. Prisoners engage in epistemic activism to fight the agential epistemic injustices they suffer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationA Companion to Public Philosophy
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781119635253
ISBN (Print)9781119635222
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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