Karen Barad’s Agential Realism and Reflexive Epistemic Authority

Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 25:65-75 (2008)
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Abstract

Feminist and post-colonial epistemologists, philosophers of science, and thinkers more generally may find themselves in a distinct form of difficult situation regarding their access to and authority over knowledge within the academic world. Because feminist and post-colonial approaches to knowledge require an acute awareness of relations of domination and the ways in which these pervade the social and epistemic world, it is often difficult to know how to proceed in making theory. These theorists are in particularly ripe positions to benefit from what philosopher-physicist Karen Barad offers us. In this paper, I engage with parts of Karen Barad’s theory of agential realism, both critically and self-reflexively. I assert that allowing Barad’s theory to inform and structure our thinking and language makes knowers better able to meet certain requirements of epistemological responsibility, particularly with regard to the ways we make theory. Moreover, I attempt to assert this in a way that is mindful of how her theory speaks to and accounts for my doing so

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Anna E. Mudde
University of Regina

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