Academics Questioning “Rationality” & “Reason”

The case against reason and rationality will be presented in the form of arguments that give reasons for these beliefs.

“There is a widespread skepticism about many sorts of knowledge claims today, and this skepticism has been promoted from both the right and the left. The skepticism is largely based on the realization that knowledge is always connected to power. But there is uncertainty about what follows from this: is it still ‘knowledge’?”

 

Postmodernists believe that there is no objective truth, that all truths are “constructions.”  Add in Post-Marxism and you get the notion of “critical theory,” which analyzes truth-claims in terms of oppressive power relationships.  This world-view has become absolutely pervasive in the academic establishment.  Katherine Timpf notes some examples.

She cites a seminar at Cornell entitled “Decolonizing Epistemology, which raises the question whether we should  “continue to use concepts like ‘rationality’ and ‘reason.’”

The article she links to quotes from the course description:

There is a widespread skepticism about many sorts of knowledge claims today, and this skepticism has been promoted from both the right and the left. The skepticism is largely based on the realization that knowledge is always connected to power. But there is uncertainty about what follows from this: is it still ‘knowledge’?

The description then gives questions that the seminar will address:

— Do social identities matter for knowledge claims? How, exactly?
— How is ignorance socially produced, and what is the solution?
— How can science be done in a decolonial way?
— How do we empower traditional and indigenous knowledges?

Notice that this academic skepticism is directed explicitly at scientific knowledge.

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