University of Connecticut

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Philosophy Brown Bag Series: Richardson-Self

Wednesday, December 6, 2017
12:00pm – 1:00pm

Storrs Campus
MAN 002, Basement Lounge

This week: Louise Richardson-Self (Univ. of Tasmania), "'White Vilification', Recognition, and Epistemic Injustice"

Abstract: In Australia, federal legislation prohibits hate speech on the basis of race. This legislation is facially neutral (Gelber 2014). That is, any person of any race, colour, or national or ethnic origin may lodge a complaint with the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) if they are the victim of an act which is reasonably likely, in all the circumstances, to offend, insult, humiliate, or intimidate them, and that act is done because of this identity trait. While the majority of complaints lodged with the AHRC are from people of colour, white Australians are increasingly lodging complaints of racial vilification. In this paper, I hold that white vilification complaints do not constitute hate speech in the Australian context, but that they do constitute an epistemic injustice against people of colour. I argue further that this is due to a dual failure of recognition. The first is failure to recognise the specificity of the racial other. The second is a paradoxical ‘recognition in order to disavow’ one’s whiteness.


A series of informal talks by philosophy faculty and graduate students. For a description, see


Lionel Shapiro,

Philosophy Department (primary), UConn Master Calendar

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