Go to the U of M home page


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

ICGC Brown Bag "Toward a Sustainable Epistemology"

ICGC Brown Bag: On Friday, September 28th, "Toward a Sustainable Epistemology" will be presented by Naomi Scheman, Professor of Philosophy and Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies. Discussion will begin at 12:00pm in room 537 Heller Hall.

Epistemology, I argue, should be reoriented from abstracted anecdote to contextualized problems facing those whose social locations give them particular responsibilities for the creation and critique of knowledge or particular vulnerabilities to the knowledge claims of others. In particular, I suggest norms of sustainability: acquiring knowledge in ways that make it more likely that others, especially less privileged others, will be able to acquire knowledge in the future. (Thus, for example, much "sustainable development" problematically embodies unsustainable epistemologies.) Questions include how to integrate disciplinary expertise, which typically functions by decontextualizing both knowers and their objects of knowledge, into holistic, engaged, and sustainable ways of knowing, with communities of inquirers working across disciplinary, institutional, and other boundaries, to create maximally democratic, critical conversations complex enough to match the complexity of real-world problems. In conversation with the ICGC community, I want to think about these issues in relation to work in diverse settings, across diverse boundaries of nation, state, power, and privilege.
For the complete Fall 2012 ICGC brown bag schedule, please click here.