"Diversity in Philosophy and the Dangers of Epistemic Tokenism"
Abstract: In philosophical discussions, does it make sense to care about who is making an argument, in addition to the content of the argument being made? More specifically, does it make sense to care about specific demographic features of the person making the argument - their race, gender, disability status, and so on? I’m going to suggest that there’s a minimal sense in which, at least for some topics, this does make sense, because we have epistemic reasons to care about demographic diversity. But there’s a stronger reading of this claim that often goes something like this: where x is some oppressed social group, philosophers who are x have special insight into the philosophy of x and should be treated as special authorities on the philosophy of x. I’m going to argue that this stronger claim is both false and potentially harmful.