Demarginalizing Standpoint Epistemology

Episteme:1-19 (forthcoming)
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Abstract
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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Archival date: 2020-09-12
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2020-04-25

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