Loopholes, Gaps, and What is Held Fast

Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 3 (4):237-254 (1996)
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Abstract

This paper raises questions about who counts as a knower with regard to his or her own memories, what gets counted as a genuine memory, and who will affirm those memories within an epistemic community. I argue for a democratic epistemology informed by an understanding of relations of power. I investigate implications of the claim that knowledge is both social and political and suggest ways it is related to trust. Given the tendency of epistemology to draw lines that discriminate unfairly against some, it is vital that efforts to create democratic epistemologies be sensitive to the potential for exploitation. Standards of credibility often favor members of dominant groups, and our ontological commitments may intersect with patterns of domination. While acknowledging difficulties in evaluating what counts as credible claims to memories, I argue that one’s engagement with clients must be mapped onto the larger moral and political domain.

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