Leandro De BRASI, Jack WARMAN
ABSTRACT: In this paper, we explore some links between deliberative democracy, natural testimony, and epistemic injustice. We hope to highlight the exclusionary effects of some cases of testimony-related epistemic injustice within the deliberative democratic framework and, in particular, two subtle ways of epistemic injustice that are not often highlighted in the political domain. In other words, we hope to highlight two specific mechanisms of epistemic exclusion within the democratic deliberative process that are not explicitly noticed in the relevant literature. In section 1, we present the deliberative model of democracy and the deliberative process. We then introduce the notion of epistemic (dis)enfranchisement, which we distinguish from formal enfranchisement, and explain the role that natural testimony plays in establishing citizens’ epistemic enfranchisement. In section 2, we introduce Fricker’s notion of testimonial injustice and two further testimony-related forms of epistemic injustice which seem to have been largely neglected in the debate so far, namely, discursive injustice and testimonial void. We also point out negative epistemic consequences of positive identity-prejudicial stereotypes. In section 3, we argue that these testimony-related forms of epistemic injustice can lead to epistemic disenfranchisement, which, we note, is an obstacle to deliberative democracy that warrants serious consideration.