Synthese 194 (12):4705-4720 (2017)

David Ludwig
Wageningen University and Research
This article develops an account of local epistemic practices on the basis of case studies from ethnobiology. I argue that current debates about objectivity often stand in the way of a more adequate understanding of local knowledge and ethnobiological practices in general. While local knowledge about the biological world often meets criteria for objectivity in philosophy of science, general debates about the objectivity of local knowledge can also obscure their unique epistemic features. In modification of Ian Hacking’s suggestion to discuss “ground level questions” instead of objectivity, I propose an account that focuses on both epistemic virtues and vices of local epistemic practices.
Keywords objectivity  indigenous knowledge  traditional ecological knowledge  local knowledge  ontological pluralism  Ian Hacking  ethnobiology  ethnoscience  ethnobotany  robustness
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-016-1210-1
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