Epistemic Capabilities and Epistemic Injustice: What is the Role of Higher Education in Fostering Epistemic Contributions of Marginalized Knowledge Producers?


  • Alejandra Boni
  • Diana Velasco




This paper explores how University as social entity has great potential to confront epistemic injustices by expanding epistemic capabilities. To do this, we primarily follow the contributions of scholars such as Miranda Fricker and José Medina. The epistemic capabilities and epistemic injustice nexus will be explored via two empirical cases: the first one is an experience developed in Lagos (Nigeria) using participatory video; the second is a service learning pedagogical strategy for final year undergraduate students conducted at Universidad de Ibagué (in Colombia). The Lagos experience shows how participatory action-research methodologies could promote epistemic capabilities and functioning, making it possible for the participants to generate interpretive materials to speak of their own realities. However, this experience is too limited to address testimonial and hermeneutical injustice. The Colombian experience is a remarkable experience that is building epistemic capabilities among students and other local participants. However, there is a hermeneutical and structural injustice that tends to give more value to disciplinary and codified knowledge at the expense of experiential and tacit knowledge.