Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Anthro philosophy

In an article entitled, ‘Who Knows? What Can They Know? And When?’, Lynn Nelson displays a commitment to experience as the “final arbiter of claims and theories.” Her position highlights the need to recognise the material conditions of experience. “The experience and knowledge we bring to bear on the theorising we undertake in philosophy, science and other – including of course, common sense – will include experience and knowledge shaped by the social relations of gender, race and class that characterise our larger social communities.” This is an important point as it alludes to the temporal nature of knowledge and experience. We should not be naïve enough to believe as some do that there is one objective a priori truth somehow timeless and eternal. “[I]t is commensurate with our collective experience that we will eventually abandon our current theories (though not, of course, all at once) for theories that are commensurate with much of our experience to date but incompatible with our present theories.”

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