Sociology of knowledge
Epistemology is the branch of philosophy that deals with the varieties, grounds,
and validity of knowledge.
Epistemology is the study of knowledge
and of how we know. All science, since it is concerned with verification and proving or
disproving, must make assumptions about how we know.
All science then adopts an epistemology. In sociology there has been a long debate
about the sources of knowledge and this can be seen in the differences between positivism and postmodernism, or
between positivism and phenomenology.
For sociologists this debate is most frequently engaged over the methods to be
used for learning about the world: the survey or experimental method on one side, and
participant observation or using one's own member's understanding to analyze
Epistemics is the branch of science that deals with knowledge and understanding.
Feminist Epistemology and Philosophy of Science - Anderson, Elizabeth
The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Abstract: The central concept of feminist epistemology is that of a situated knower, and
hence of situated knowledge: knowledge that reflects the particular perspectives of the
subject. Feminist philosophers are interested in how gender situates knowing subjects.
They have articulated three main approaches to this question: feminist standpoint theory,
feminist postmodernism, and feminist empiricism. Different conceptions of how gender
situates knowers also inform feminist approaches to the central problems of the field:
grounding feminist criticisms of science and feminist science, defining the proper roles
of social and political values in inquiry, evaluating ideals of objectivity and
rationality, and reforming structures of epistemic authority.
Social Epistemology and the Digital Divide - by Don Fallis School
Abstract: One of the main reasons why the digital divide is an important issue is that
access to information technology has a tremendous impact on people's ability to acquire
knowledge. According to Alvin Goldman (1999), the project of social epistemology is to
identify policies and practices that have good epistemic consequences. In this paper, I
argue that this sort of approach to social epistemology can help us to decide on policies
for dealing with the digital divide. I argue, however, that Goldman's specific proposals
for evaluating policies are not adequate. I make an alternative proposal based on the work
of John Rawls (1971) on distributive justice.
Dominionism and Epistemology - Hudson, Gabriel
Annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association 67th Annual National
Abstract: Dominionism is an authoritarian ideology that combines political hegemony with
metaphysical certitude. A key impediment to any authoritarian leadership is the capacity
of subjects to question and counter its claims to power. Human reason and critical
analysis provide the inspiration to subvert an authoritarian regime. This paper examines
an American political movement that works within the confines of liberal democracy to
supplant liberal democracy. Critical to its agenda is the undermining of institutions that
cultivate reason in citizens. The underlying difference in the conflict between
dominionism and reason is best understood as a competition of epistemologies.
Transforming socio-economics with a new epistemology - Rogers Hollingsworth and Karl H.
Müller, Socio-Economic Review 2008 6(3).
This paper argues that a new scientific framework (Science II) has been slowly emerging,
rivaling the DescartesNewtonian perspective (Science I) dominant for several hundred
years. The Science II framework places a great deal of emphasis on evolution, dynamism,
chance and/or pattern recognition. As both cause and effect of the new perspective,
scholars in the physical, biological and social sciences are increasingly addressing
common problems, borrowing insights from and interacting with each other. The epistemology
of Science II has enormous potential for understanding problems of fundamental interest to
socio-economists. The paper focuses on five useful concepts in the framework of Science
II: self-organizing processes, complex networks, power-law distributions, the general
binding problem and multi-level analysis.
The Bias Paradox in Feminist Standpoint Epistemology - Rolin, Kristina.
Episteme: A Journal of Social Epistemology
Abstract: Sandra Harding's feminist standpoint epistemology makes two claims. The thesis
of epistemic privilege claims that unprivileged social positions are likely to generate
perspectives that are "less partial and less distorted" than perspectives
generated by other social positions. The situated knowledge thesis claims that all
scientific knowledge is socially situated. The bias paradox is the tension between these
two claims. Whereas the thesis of epistemic privilege relies on the assumption that a
standard of impartiality enables one to judge some perspectives as better than others, the
situated knowledge thesis seems to undermine this assumption by suggesting that all
knowledge is partial. I argue that a contextualist theory of epistemic justification
provides a solution to the bias paradox. Moreover, contextualism enables me to give
empirical content to the thesis of epistemic privilege, thereby making it into a testable
The Epistemology of Democracy - Anderson, Elizabeth
Episteme: A Journal of Social Epistemology
Abstract: This paper investigates the epistemic powers of democratic institutions through
an assessment of three epistemic models of democracy: the Condorcet Jury Theorem, the
Diversity Trumps Ability Theorem, and Dewey's experimentalist model. Dewey's model is
superior to the others in its ability to model the epistemic functions of three
constitutive features of democracy: the epistemic diversity of participants, the
interaction of voting with discussion, and feedback mechanisms such as periodic elections
and protests. It views democracy as an institution for pooling widely distributed
information about problems and policies of public interest by engaging the participation
of epistemically diverse knowers. Democratic norms of free discourse, dissent, feedback,
and accountability function to ensure collective, experimentally-based learning from the
diverse experiences of different knowers. I illustrate these points with a case study of
community forestry groups in South Asia, whose epistemic powers have been hobbled by their
suppression of women's participation.
Analytic Epistemology and Experimental Philosophy
Joshua Alexander and Jonathan M. Weinberg - Philosophy Compass, Volume 2(1), 2007
Abstract: It has been standard philosophical practice in analytic philosophy to employ
intuitions generated in response to thought-experiments as evidence in the evaluation of
philosophical claims. In part as a response to this practice, an exciting new
movementexperimental philosophyhas recently emerged. This movement is unified
behind both a common methodology and a common aim: the application of methods of
experimental psychology to the study of the nature of intuitions. In this paper, we will
introduce two different views concerning the relationship that holds between experimental
philosophy and the future of standard philosophical practice (what we call, the proper
foundation view and the restrictionist view), discuss some of the more interesting and
important results obtained by proponents of both views, and examine the pressure these
results put on analytic philosophers to reform standard philosophical practice. We will
also defend experimental philosophy from some recent objections, suggest future directions
for work in experimental philosophy, and suggest what future lines of epistemological
response might be available to those wishing to defend analytic epistemology from the
challenges posed by experimental philosophy.