Fakultät für Philosophie, Wissenschaftstheorie und Religionswissenschaft

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Altanian, Melanie

Melanie Altanian

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Genocide Denial as an Epistemic Injustice

The wrong of genocide denial is usually described in terms of a further violation of the dignity of victims, survivors, and their descendants, by attacking their memory, and ultimately, the truth. In my project, I attempt to shed light on this relationship between dignity, memory, and truth in the context of genocide and its denial, by considering particular patterns of genocide denial as instances of epistemic injustice.

An epistemic injustice is an ‘intrinsic injustice’: it wrongs someone particularly in his or her capacity as a knower, and therefore in a capacity of essential human value. In focusing on those on the receiving end of an epistemic injustice, we become aware of the immediate intrinsic epistemic and ethical harm that it poses to members of the formerly victimized group. Thus, the project aims to formulate a normative account of the wrong of genocide denialism by evaluating it through the lens of an epistemic injustice, considering it as a particular case of disrespectful and unjustified challenge to the memory and testimony of members of formerly victimized groups. Starting from the perspective of victims, the project will also further investigate the ethical-cum-epistemic implications of genocide denialism for society more generally.


Oktober 2018–März 2019: Forschungsaufenthalt an der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Lehrstuhl für Philosophie V – Praktische Philosophie und Ethik, Prof. Dr. Monika Betzler

Seit September 2017: Doc.CH Stipendiatin des Schweizerischen Nationalfonds (SNF)

April–Juli 2017: Forschungsaufenthalt an der Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Lehrstuhl Politische Philosophie und Rechtsphilosophie, Prof. Dr. Corinna Mieth (RUB Research School PLUS)

April 2016–Dezember 2017: Assistenz an der Graduate School of the Humanities und am Interdisziplinären Forschungs- und Nachwuchsnetzwerk der Universität Bern

Oktober 2015–März 2016: Praktikum bei swisspeace, Dealing with the Past Program, Projekt: Archives and Dealing with the Past

September 2015: Beginn Promotion, Erstgutachter: Prof. Dr. Markus Stepanians, Universität Bern; Zweitgutachterin: Prof. Dr. Monika Betzler, LMU München

September 2015: M.A. in Political, legal and Economic Philosophy (Mono), Universität Bern

April–Juli 2015: Studentische Hilfskraft am Lehrstuhl für Praktische Philosophie (Prof. Dr. Markus Stepanians) der Universität Bern

Februar–Juli 2014: Studentische Hilfskraft am Lehrstuhl für Praktische Philosophie (Prof. Dr. Monika Betzler) der Universität Bern

Oktober 2012: B.A. in Philosophie (Major) und Sozialwissenschaften (Minor), Universität Bern