Ecological Thinking: The Politics of Epistemic Location

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About the Author:
Lorraine Code is Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Philosophy at York University in Toronto, Canada, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Professor Code provides a rich and sensitive epistemology, an erudite yet eminently readable account of how we know and ought to behave. Her insights, arguments, and examples break new ground in helping us understand the dangers of autonomy, the role of advocacy, and the wisdom of ecological thinking. Anyone in ethics, epistemology, or feminist philosophy must read her book."—Kristin Shrader-Frechette, University of Notre Dame

"This new, major work by Lorraine Code develops the idea of 'ecological thinking' as an alternative, and antidote, to epistemic monolingualism. Code persuasively shows how Western epistemology is analogous to enforced single-crop agriculture that chokes native species and destroys variety. By combining epistemology with an ecological approach, Code brilliantly creates a new model for epistemic pluralism." —Linda Martín Alcoff, Syracuse University

"Philosophical reflections on knowledge typically look at highly idealized situations, where generic, isolated knowers can narrowly focus inquiry within well-defined boundaries. Lorraine Code returns epistemology to the messier circumstances in which knowledge claims are typically made and contested. When natural complexity cannot be easily circumscribed, power and social hierarchy affect knowers' credibility or access, and entrenched social imaginaries constrain the envisioned possibilities, different models of knowledge and justification are called for. Code's call for ecological thinking is a challenging new conception of what it would mean to naturalize epistemology."—Joseph Rouse, Wesleyan University

"Ecological Thinking provides a powerful and persuasive epistemological model for responsible knowing which exemplifies the complex intersections between knowledge, subjectivity, politics, ethics, science, citizenship, and agency. Code demonstrates that historically, demographically, and geographically located analyses of knowledge production and distribution will generate more responsible knowing practices. Just as Quine's epistemological naturalism revolutionalized epistemology in the latter half of the twentieth century, Code's ecological naturalism will transform epistemological theorizing in the twenty-first century."—Nancy Tuana, Penn State University

"Code's book is important and timely, marshalling a wide variety of arguments in support of the necessarily messy and complex effects of philosophical holism and naturalism as applied to ecological studies, broadly construed.... The arguments she offers are complex and rise to the challenge presented to any philosopher working to make intellectual analysis relevant to social policy in the contemporary world."—Sharon Clough, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195159448
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 4/27/2006
  • Series: Studies in Feminist Philosophy Series
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Lorraine Code is Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Philosophy at York University in Toronto, Canada and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. She is the author of Epistemic Responsibility (1987), What Can She Know? (1991), Rhetorical Spaces (1995); editor of the Routledge Encyclopedia of Feminist Theories (2000), and Feminist Interpretations of Hans-Georg Gadamer (2003); and co-translator of Michèle Le Doeuff The Sex of Knowing (2003).

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Table of Contents

Introduction     3
Ecological Thinking: Subversions and Transformations     25
Ecological Naturalism     63
Negotiating Empiricism     95
Ecological Subjectivity in the Making: "The Child as Fact and Artifact"     129
Patterns of Autonomy, Acknowledgment, and Advocacy     163
Rational Imagining, Responsible Knowing     201
Public Knowledge, Public Trust: Toward Democratic Epistemic Practices     237
Conclusion     279
Bibliography     287
Index     305
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