Sociology Index


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. 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 interested in how gender situates knowing subjects have articulated three main approaches to this question: feminist standpoint theory, feminist postmodernism, and feminist empiricism.

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.

Dominionism and Epistemology - Hudson, Gabriel
Annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association 67th Annual National Conference.
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. 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, Karl H. Muller, Socio-Economic Rev 2008 6(3).
This paper argues that a new scientific framework (Science II) has been slowly emerging, rivaling the Descartes–Newtonian 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 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.

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.

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 movement, experimental philosophy, has 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. 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.