Demarginalizing Standpoint Epistemology

Episteme 19 (1):47-65 (2022)
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Standpoint epistemology, the view that social identity is relevant to knowledge-acquisition, has been consigned to the margins of mainstream philosophy. In part, this is because the principles of standpoint epistemology are taken to be in opposition to those which guide traditional epistemology. One goal of this paper is to tease out the characterization of traditional epistemology that is at odds with standpoint epistemology. The characterization of traditional epistemology that I put forth is one which endorses the thesis of intellectualism, the view that knowledge does not depend on non-epistemic features. I then suggest that two further components – the atomistic view of knowers and aperspectivalism – can be usefully interpreted as supporting features of intellectualism. A further goal of this paper is to show that we ought to resist this characterization of traditional epistemology. I use pragmatic encroachment as a dialectical tool to motivate the denial of intellectualism, and consequently, the denial of both supporting components. I then attempt to show how it is possible to have a view, similar to pragmatic encroachment, that takes social identity, rather than stakes, to be the feature that makes a difference to what a person is in a position to know.

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Briana Toole
Claremont McKenna College

Citations of this work

Value Capture.C. Thi Nguyen - forthcoming - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy.
Epistemic Advantage on the Margin: A Network Standpoint Epistemology.Jingyi Wu - 2022 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (3):1-23.
Recent Work in Standpoint Epistemology.Briana Toole - 2021 - Analysis 81 (2):338-350.

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References found in this work

Knowledge and lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2004 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and practical interests.Jason Stanley - 2005 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Knowledge in an uncertain world.Jeremy Fantl & Matthew McGrath - 2009 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Matthew McGrath.

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