Article Title

Care, Concern, and Advocacy: Is There a Place for Epistemic Responsibility?


Departing from an epistemological tradition for which knowledge properly achieved must be objective, especially in eschewing affect and/or special interests; and against a backdrop of my thinking about epistemic responsibility, I focus on two situations where care informs and enables good knowing. The implicit purpose of this reclamation of care as epistemically vital is to show emphatically that standard alignments of care with femininity—the female—are simply misguided. Proposing that the efficacy of epistemic practices is often enhanced when would-be knowers care about the outcomes of investigation, I suggest that epistemic responsibility need not be compromised when caring motivates and animates research. Indeed, the background inspiration comes from the thought, integral to feminist and post-colonial theory and practice that, despite often-justified condemnations of research that serves "special interests," particularities do matter, epistemically. Such thoughts, variously articulated, are integral to enacting a shift in epistemology away from formal abstraction and toward engaging with the specificities of real-world, situated knowledge projects. They are not unequivocally benign, for villains too care about the outcomes of their projects. Hence multi-faceted engagements with epistemic practices and processes are urgently required across the social-political world.

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