Social Group Moral Encroachment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


According to moral encroachers, the moral stakes of a belief partly determine how much evidence we need for the belief to count as knowledge. This view concerns the beliefs of individual believers. In this paper, I argue for a social group version of moral encroachment: dominant groups, such as white people or men, need to have more evidence than the marginalised in order for some of their beliefs to constitute knowledge. I argue for this claim in three steps. First, I spell out the group moral stakes involved - the harms dominant knowers cause the marginalised and the knowledge economy. Second, I show off the theoretical benefits of having the notion of social group moral encroachment at our disposal: it can be an invaluable tool for decolonial and feminist epistemologists if they want to avoid the relativistic ring to their views (a ring that tends to put off many well-wishers). Finally, I start on a positive account of social group moral encroachment by addressing a potential puzzle and responding to objections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)894-911
Number of pages18
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 26 Dec 2023


  • Moral encroachment
  • collective responsibility
  • epistemology of groups
  • group belief
  • social groups
  • white ignorance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History and Philosophy of Science


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