CFP: Gaslighting and Epistemic Injustice

Submission deadline: July 15, 2017

Conference date(s):
September 21, 2017 - September 23, 2017

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Conference Venue:

Department of Philosophy, Claremont McKenna College
Claremont, United States

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Call for Abstracts – Conference on Gaslighting and Epistemic Injustice 

laremont McKenna College, September 21-23, 2017

Abstracts due:  July 15, 2017 

Over the past 10 years, following the publication of Miranda Fricker’s groundbreaking book, Epistemic Injustice: Power & the Ethics of Knowing, philosophers have begun increasingly to attend to issues of epistemic injustice, a phenomenon that occurs when individuals are wronged in their capacity as knowers.  Epistemic injustice often arises in cases involving differing positions of social privilege, where prejudice and power combine to undermine an individual’s own testimony. 

In this conference, we aim to focus specifically on distinctive forms of epistemic injustice produced through lying, misinformation, manipulation, and deceit. A paradigm example is the phenomenon known as “gaslighting.”  In the 1944 film Gas Light, Gregory Anton slowly and cruelly manipulates his wife Paula into thinking that she is going insane.  Having deliberately caused the lights in their home to dim, Gregory insists that Paula must be imagining it whenever the subject is raised.  This depiction of Paula’s plight – made especially poignant by a brilliant performance from Ingrid Bergman – has given rise to the term “gaslighting,” used to refer to one individual or individuals causing another to question their own perceptions, beliefs, and memories through a series of manipulations, deceptions, and lies.

In addition to the talks by invited speakers, we have reserved several spots for speakers who will be chosen on the basis of submitted abstracts.  We welcome submissions from philosophers at all career stages.  Authors whose papers are chosen for presentation at the conference will receive substantial travel subsidies (we will cover hotel costs, conference meals, and a significant portion of travel costs).

Abstracts of approximately 750-1000 words should be submitted to by July 15, 2017.  We aim to provide notice of accepted papers by August 1, 2017.

The conference is organized by Amy Kind and Adrienne Martin on behalf of the Claremont McKenna College Department of Philosophy.  We are grateful to the Dean of Faculty’s Office and the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies for their financial support.

For questions, please contact Amy Kind at

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