Epistemological diversity: A roundtable

Lorraine Code, Denis Charles Phillips, Claudia W. Ruitenberg, Harvey Siegel, Stone Lynda Stone

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


The participants in this conversation are all philosophers or philosophers of education with different perspectives on the issues, and all (with the exception of Lynda Stone) have contributed other chapters to this volume. The substantive conversation opens with a statement by Code expressing discomfort with thinking of “multicultural epistemologies” as “alternatives," as if one can pick and choose between them. Rather, all concerned are focused on the epistemic issue of “knowing well." Furthermore, epistemology is a field that has changed over time and is doing so today making this a “conflicted historical situation." Siegel argues that these “alternatives” are best seen as “claims for the legitimacy of the experiences, views, and presence of members of marginalized groups”, for clearly they are not epistemology. Stone raises some issues relating to seminar-room practice with doctoral students, including the problem that what constitutes knowledge has become politicized. Phillips expresses his long-standing puzzlement as to why the important educational and political concerns of marginalized groups have come to be expressed in ill-fitting epistemological language. Ruitenberg responds to some of these concerns expressed by the roundtable participants by arguing that the effort must be made to understand what advocates of multicultural epistemology are trying to achieve by resignifying the term; her hypothesis is that they are objecting to narrowing “knowledge” to refer to propositional knowledge to the exclusion of knowledge by acquaintance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEducation, Culture and Epistemological Diversity
Subtitle of host publicationMapping a Disputed Terrain
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9789400720664
ISBN (Print)9789400720657
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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