Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Christie Hartley

Second Advisor

Andrew Altman

Third Advisor

Andrew I. Cohen


In “Epistemic Exploitation,” Nora Berenstain argues that an epistemic injustice of epistemic exploitation occurs “when privileged persons compel marginalized persons to educate them about the nature of their oppression” (569). While Berenstain accurately identifies norms of inquiry that ought to be avoided, her account ultimately establishes more barriers to the project of resisting oppression than it removes, necessitating the development of an alternative normative framework. Rejecting her account, I develop a normative model of inquiry through the isolation of a yet unidentified epistemic injustice: epistemic entrapment. I argue that the normative directives entailed by my account of epistemic entrapment mitigate the harmful norms of inquiry Berenstain identifies without establishing further barriers to the project of resisting oppression. Finally, I argue that marginalized individuals have a limited obligation to respond to inquiry into the conditions of their oppression.