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What type of inclusion does epistemic injustice require?
  1. Anye-Nkwenti Nyamnjoh1,2,
  2. Cornelius Ewuoso3
  1. 1 Department of Medicine, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch, South Africa
  2. 2 The Ethics Lab, Neuroscience Institute, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch, South Africa
  3. 3 Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics, University of the Witwatersrand Johannesburg, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
  1. Correspondence to Dr Cornelius Ewuoso, University of the Witwatersrand Johannesburg, Johannesburg 7701, Gauteng, South Africa; cornelius.ewuoso{at}

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Bridget Pratt and Jantina de Vries1 have made an insightful contribution to enhancing epistemic justice in global health ethics. Their elaboration details intellectual (external) exclusion—described as non-representation—across three levels, and at its core, proposes inclusion to rectify this. To extend this work, we contend that it is worth probing the nuances and challenges associated with inclusion as a response to epistemic injustice. These include (A) the meaning of inclusion outside binary vocabularies of north and south; (B) the possibility of forms of inclusion that produce exclusion and (C) inclusion as a politics of belonging with intellectual confinement as a possible epistemic harm.

How the problem of injustice is described influences the substantive meaning of inclusion. In describing epistemic injustice, north and south (centre and periphery) are used as relational markers of power, inclusion, authority and exclusion. While this binary vocabulary is seductive, it can appear to confer proprietary rights to the concepts, theories and values described as originating in the global north (and south). However, such inscriptions of ownership are not always a correct reading of the problem. Sometimes, the ostensible western-ness and non-western-ness of ideas are taken for granted, particularly …

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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