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Ecological ThinkingThe Politics of Epistemic Location$
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Lorraine Code

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195159431

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0195159438.001.0001

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Ecological Thinking

Lorraine Code (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

In this chapter, an analysis of “statements of fact” in two domains of natural knowledge-making — medicine and law — shows how they enact sedimented assumptions about women, blacks, and other so-called social minorities. Hence, judgments and diagnoses alike reproduce structures of asymmetrical social power and privilege. The analysis recommends a negotiated empiricism: an empirically based and evidence-respecting position that takes observational evidence seriously, yet contends that evidence does not speak for itself in its claims to count as evidence or in its meanings and implications. The argument shows how experiential, testimonial reports claim an enhanced, if not uncontested, credibility and authority in this approach to knowledge. The chapter concludes with a critical reading of Donna Haraway’s “situated knowledges” as a principal contributor to the conceptual apparatus that frames ecological thinking.

Keywords:   negotiating empiricism, medicine, law, statements of fact, evidence, testimonial reports, credibility, Donna Haraway, situated knowledges, power, privilege

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