Rational Authority and Social Power: Towards a Truly Social Epistemology
Author: Fricker M.
Source: Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Volume 98, Number 2, 1998 , pp. 159-177(19)
This paper explores the relation between rational authority and social power, proceeding by way of a philosophical genealogy derived from Edward Craig's Knowledge and the State of Nature. The position advocated avoids the errors both of the `traditionalist' (who regards the socio-political as irrelevant to epistemology) and of the `reductivist' (who regards reason as just another form of social power). The argument is that a norm of credibility governs epistemic practice in the state of nature, which, when socially manifested, is likely to imitate the structures of social power. A phenomenon of epistemic injustice is explained, and the politicizing implication for epistemology educed.
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 1998-01-01