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THE RIGHT TO KNOW: RESOURCES

Below you will find a selection of resources connected to the book The Right To Know: Epistemic Rights and Why We Need Them (Routledge, 2021).

 

Please feel free to use these resources if you are teaching a course that covers ideas in the book or any related themes, or if you are writing about the book or on a related topic.

The resources include:
 

  • Link to a short, ten-question survey to get students (or anyone!) thinking about the concept of a right to know and how it applies to everyday life. 

  • Links to online interviews covering the main ideas in the book in a digestible way. 

  • Set of discussion questions.

  • Further reading suggestions.

Book and E-Book available: RoutledgE, BOOKSHOP.ORGAmazon

ONLINE SURVEY

VIDEOS AND INTERVIEWS

An in-depth YouTube interview about the book with Dr Aidan McGlynn, hosted by The Philosopher magazine. 52 mins.

The Right to Know - New Books NetworkLani Watson
00:00 / 01:04

An in-depth audio interview with Robert Talisse, hosted by the New Books Network. 1 hour.

Series of three short audio interviews, in conversation with Daniella Meehan, summarising key ideas and arguments in the book by chapter, hosted by Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective. Each interview is approx. 15 mins.

 

AVAILABLE TO LISTEN HERE.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  • Is there a right not to be lied to?

  • Do you always have an epistemic duty to tell the truth?

  • Are there any epistemic rights in private relationships, like the right to know if your partner is cheating on you?

  • Do celebrities have to give up epistemic rights in order to be famous? Should they? Would you?

  • Do doctors, lawyers, journalists, or corporations have epistemic duties that ordinary citizens do not?

  • Should your government have a right to listen to your private conversations?

  • Who should be responsible for enforcing the right to be forgotten online?

  • Who should be responsible for enforcing the right to accurate information in either social or traditional media?

  • Can animals, babies, or machines have epistemic rights?

  • Are epistemic rights human rights?

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FURTHER READING

Besson, Samantha. 2007. Enforcing the child’s right to know: Contrasting approaches under the Convention of the Rights of the Child and the European Convention on Human Rights. International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family 21: 137–159.

 

Bixler, Paul. 1957. The Right to Know: An Exposition of the Evils of News Suppression and Propaganda by Kent Cooper. The Library Quarterly 27(2): 115.

 

Blanchard, Margaret, A. 1986. Exporting the First Amendment: The Press Government Crusade of 1945-1952. New York: Logman Inc. White Plains.

 

Campbell, Macgregor. 2009. Health Clues Found in Big Tobacco Files. New Scientist 202(2713): 8.

 

Chigwedere, Pride and Essex, M. 2010. AIDS Denialism and Public Health Practice. AIDS and Behaviour 14: 237-247.

 

Coady, David. 2010. Two Concepts of Epistemic Injustice. Episteme 7(2): 101-113.

 

Cooper, Kent. 1956. The Right to Know: An Exposition of the Evils of News Suppression and Propaganda. New York: Farrar, Straus & Cudahy.

 

Cross, Harold. 1953. The People’s Right to Know: Legal Access to Public Records and Proceedings. New York: Columbia University Press.

 

Cruft, Rowan. 2010. On the Non-Instrumental Value of Basic Rights. Journal of Moral Philosophy 7: 441–461.

 

Cuillier, David. 2016. The People’s Right to Know: Comparing Harold L. Cross’ Pre-FOIA World to Post-FOIA Today. Journal of Communication Law and Policy 21(4): 433-463.

 

Derickson, Alan. 2016. Inventing the Right to Know: Herbert Abrams’s Efforts to Democratize Access to Workplace Health Hazard Information in the 1950s. American Journal of Public Health 106(2): 237-245.

 

Dotson, Kristie. 2014. Conceptualizing Epistemic Oppression. Social Epistemology 28(2): 115-138.

 

Ferrer Mac-Gregor, Eduardo. 2016. The right to the truth as an autonomous right under the Inter-American human right system. Mexican Law Review 9(1): 121-139.

 

Fricker, M. 2007. Epistemic Injustice: Power and the Ethics and Knowing. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

 

Glendon, Mary Ann. 1991. Rights Talk: The Impoverishment of Political Discourse. New York: The Free Press.

 

James, William. 1896 [1956]. The Will to Believe and other essays in popular philosophy. New York: Dover Publications, 1–31.

 

Kidd, Ian James and Carel, Havi. 2017. Epistemic Injustice and Illness. Journal of Applied Philosophy 34(2): 172-190.

 

Medina, José. 2013. The epistemology of resistance: Gender and racial oppression, epistemic injustice, and the social imagination. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

 

Meier, Barry. 2018. Pain Killer: An Empire Of Deceit And The Origin Of America's Opioid Epidemic. New York: Random House.

 

Radden Keefe, Patrick. 2021. Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty. London: Picador.

 

Raible, Lea. 2020. Human Rights Unbound: A Theory of Extraterritoriality. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

 

Richardson, Brian. 2004. The Public's Right to Know: A Dangerous Notion. Journal of Mass Media Ethics 19(1): 46-55.

 

Van Zee, Art. 2009. The promotion and marketing of oxycontin: commercial triumph, public health tragedy. American Journal of Public Health 99(2): 221-227.

 

Vosoughi, Soroush, Roy, Deb and Aral, Sinan. The spread of true and false news online. Science 359(6380): 1146-1151.

 

Watson, Lani. 2018. Systematic Epistemic Rights Violations in the Media: A Brexit Case Study. Social Epistemology, 32:2, 88-102. Available at: https://www.philosophyofquestions.com/publications

 

Watson, Lani. 2018. Epistemic Rights in a Polarized World. 2020. In: Polarisation, Arrogance, and Dogmatism: Philosophical Perspectives edited by Lynch, M. and Tanesini, A. London: Routledge. Available at: https://www.philosophyofquestions.com/publications

 

Wenar, Leif. 2003. Epistemic Rights and Legal Rights. Analysis 63(278): 142-146.

 

Wenar, Leif. 2005. The Nature of Rights. Philosophy & Public Affairs 33(3): 223-252.

 

Wenar, Leif. 2013. The Nature of Claim-Rights. Ethics 123(2): 202-229.

 

Wollstonecraft, Mary. 2004 [1792]. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. London: Penguin Books.

A short online survey prompting students to consider when and if they have a right to know in a variety of everyday scenarios. This exercise will help students explore the concept of epistemic rights before they have been formally introduced to it and would be ideal as an introductory activity (it can also be taken multiple times, to see if students change their answers after reflection and teaching). The survey is 10 questions in total and should take approx. 10-15 mins to complete.