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Abstract: 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.
Comment: In this paper, Fricker lays out an approach to social epistemology, one that gives the field a particular tight connect to political philosophy. Suitable as an introductory reading for courses on social epistemology or epistemology in general.Export citation in BibTeX formatExport text citationView this text on PhilPapersExport citation in Reference Manager formatExport citation in EndNote formatExport citation in Zotero format
Fricker, Miranda. Rational Authority and Social Power: Toward a Truly Social Epistemology
1998, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 98(2): 159-177.
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