The Epistemology of Resistance

The Epistemology of Resistance : Gender and Racial Oppression, Epistemic Injustice, and the Social Imagination

4.31 (77 ratings by Goodreads)
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4.31 (77 ratings by Goodreads)

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This book explores the epistemic side of oppression, focusing on racial and sexual oppression and their interconnections. It elucidates how social insensitivities and imposed silences prevent members of different groups from interacting epistemically in fruitful ways-from listening to each other, learning from each other, and mutually enriching each other's perspectives. Medina's epistemology of resistance offers a contextualist theory of our complicity with
epistemic injustices and a social connection model of shared responsibility for improving epistemic conditions of participation in social practices. Through the articulation of a new interactionism and polyphonic contextualism, the book develops a sustained argument about the role of the imagination in
mediating social perceptions and interactions. It concludes that only through the cultivation of practices of resistance can we develop a social imagination that can help us become sensitive to the suffering of excluded and stigmatized subjects. Drawing on Feminist Standpoint Theory and Critical Race Theory, this book makes contributions to social epistemology and to recent discussions of testimonial and hermeneutical injustice, epistemic responsibility, counter-performativity, and solidarity
in the fight against racism and sexism.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 157 x 234 x 23mm | 460g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New
  • 0199929041
  • 9780199929047
  • 267,354

Table of contents

Acknowledgements ; Foreword: Insensitivity and Blindness ; Introduction. Resistance, Democratic Sensibilities, and the Cultivation of Perplexity ; A. The Importance of Dissent and the Imperative of Epistemic Interaction ; B. Resistance, Perplexity, and Multiperspectivalism ; C. Overview ; Chapter 1. Active Ignorance, Epistemic Others, and Epistemic Friction ; 1.1. Active Ignorance and the Epistemic Vices of the Privileged ; 1.2. Lucidity and the Epistemic Virtues of the Oppressed ; 1.3. Resistance, Epistemic Responsibility, and the Regulative Principles of Epistemic Friction ; Chapter 2. Resistance as Epistemic Vice and as Epistemic Virtue ; 2.1. The Excess of Epistemic Authority and the Resulting Insensitivity ; 2.1.1. Epistemic Justice as Interactive, Comparative and Contrastive ; 2.1.2. Differential Authority, Systematic Injustice, and the Social Imaginary ; 2.2. The Vice of Avoiding Epistemic Friction, Hermeneuticalal Injustice, and the Problem of Meta-Blindness. ; 2.3. Striving for Open-Mindedness: Epistemic Friction and Epistemic Counterpoints as Correctives of Meta-Blindness ; Chapter 3. Imposed Silences and Shared Hermeneutical Responsibilities ; 3.1. Silences and the Communicative Approach to Epistemic Injustice ; 3.2. Communicative Pluralism and Hermeneutical Injustice ; 3.3. Our Hermeneutical Responsibilities with respect to Multiple Publics ; Chapter 4. Epistemic Responsibility and Culpable Ignorance ; 4.1. Responsible Agency, Knowledge/Ignorance, and Social Injustice ; 4.2. Betraying One's Responsibilities under Conditions of Oppression: Social Contextuality, Interconnectedness, and Culpable Ignorance ; 4.2.A. Pig Heads, Burning Crosses, and Car keys ; 4.2.B. The Social Division of Cognitive Laziness ; 4.2.C. Blindness to Differences ; 4.2.D. Blindness to Social Relationality and the Relevance Dilemma ; 4.3. Overlapping Insensitivities, Culture-Blaming, and Gender Violence against Third-World Women ; Chapter 5. Meta-Lucidity, Epistemic Heroes, and the Everyday Struggle Toward Epistemic Justice ; 5.1. Living Up to One's Responsibilities under Conditions of Oppression: Meta-Lucidity ; 5.2. Promoting Lucidity and Social Change ; 5.3. Echoing: Chained Action, "Epistemic Heroes", and Social Networks ; 5.3.1. Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz: Epistemic Courage, Critical Imagination and Epistemic Friction ; 5.3.2. Rosa Parks: Counter-Performativity, Chained Agency, and Social Networks ; Chapter 6. Resistant Imagination and Radical Solidarity ; 6.1. Pluralistic Communities of Resistence ; 6.2. Normative Pluralism and Radical Solidarity ; 6.3. Epistemic Friction and Insurrectionary Genealogies ; 6.4. Guerrilla Pluralism, Counter-Memories, and Epistemologies of Ignorance ; 6.5. Resistant Imaginations: Toward a Kaleidoscopic Social Sensibility ; 6.6. Conclusion: Network Solidarity ; Coda ; References
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Review quote

Jose Medina has written an original book which masterfully combines continental and American traditions and which addresses important topics in contemporary social and political philosophy, showing why we should pay more attention to the epistemic dimension of our everyday interactions. * Roberto Frega, European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy * This book breaks new ground in linking epistemology with social and political concerns, still a relatively new area of interface in philosophy. Most of the serious epistemology that has done this linking to date is in feminist epistemology, which Medina draws on as a resource. He then goes on to develop a highly general, inclusive, and broad account that addresses oppression in its most general terms. Going beyond critique he develops a positive reconstruction that
usefully addresses both the social and the individual changes that need to be made in knowing practices, and provides a new and very helpful vocabulary for describing and understanding the patterns of epistemic injustice. This is one of the most important works of epistemology and radical social
theory in a long time. * Linda Alcoff, Professor of Philosophy, Hunter College and CUNY Graduate Center * The social epistemology developed in recent decades represents a welcome advance on the dead-end of Cartesian individualism. But the social has too often been conceived of without centering social oppression, and all the noetic complexities that come with it. In this richly detailed and wide-ranging text, Jose Medina locates the epistemological project squarely where it belongs: in societies of privilege, subordination, and radical group differentiation. Drawing on
feminism, critical race theory, and queer theory, he shows with unprecedented thoroughness that we need to develop the cognitive virtues necessary to overcome active ignorance, epistemic injustice, and structural group insensitivity in sum, the problems not of a conveniently sanitized epistemic
'Twin-Earth' but the disordered world in which we all actually live. * Charles Mills, John Evans Professor of Moral and Intellectual Philosophy. Department of Philosophy, Northwestern University *
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About José Medina

Jose Medina is Walter Dill Scott Professor of Philosophy at Northwestern University. He works primarily in Gender & Race Theory, Philosophy of Language, and Social Epistemology. His writings on language and identity have focused on gender, sexuality, race, and ethnicity. Medina's books include Speaking from Elsewhere (SUNY Press, 2006) and Language (Continuum, 2005).
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Rating details

4.31 out of 5 stars
- 77 ratings
5 52% (40)
4 31% (24)
3 14% (11)
2 1% (1)
1 1% (1)
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