Basic Income and the Ideal of Epistemic Equality

Lisa Herzog*

*Corresponding author for this work

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1 Citation (Scopus)


In this short paper I explore whether a pro tanto argument for an unconditional basic income can be developed from a specific normative basis: the idea of epistemic equality as applied to organizations. In a broad sense, epistemic equality describes the idea that every individual has an equal right to speak up and to be heard if she has relevant information or knowledge to share, questions to ask, or complaints to bring forward. Epistemic equality has moral, instrumental, and instrumentally moral value in organizations. Drawing on Miranda Fricker's work on epistemic injustice (2009), I argue that we have good reasons to postulate epistemic equality as a normative ideal for organizations, even if - and precisely because - they are otherwise hierarchically structured. The hypothesis I then proceed to explore is that an unconditional basic income, by providing better opportunities for "exit", might be a step that would strengthen epistemic equality in organizations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-38
Number of pages10
JournalBasic income studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun-2016
Externally publishedYes


  • epistemic equality
  • unconditional basic income
  • basic income

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