From Demarcation to Transdisciplinarity: Why Indigenous Expertise Matters in Philosophy of Science

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Submission Summary
Indigenous expertise has become increasingly recognized in a wide range of academic fields including agricultural sciences, ecology, public health, and sustainability studies (Chilisa 2019, Kimmerer 2013). The recognition of Indigenous expertise in academia interacts with a wider shift in the science system towards transdisciplinary and participatory methods that respond to complex social-environmental crises from climate change to food security to infectious diseases (Ludwig et al. 2022). Epistemologically, successful interventions into complex social-environmental systems require diversity of academic and non-academic expertise. Politically, such interventions raise questions about the structure of the science-policy interface and its impact on local livelihoods. As philosophers are increasingly turning their attention to the role of science in responding to social-environmental crises, Indigenous expertise is emerging as a crucial but often still peripheral topic in philosophy of science (Koskinen and Rolin 2019, Kendig 2020, Ludwig 2017, Mncube 2021). This article outlines a positive and critical perspective on the encounter of Indigenous expertise and philosophy of science. We argue that philosophy of science provides intellectual tools for contributing to critically reflexive transdisciplinarity that recognizes the plurality of expertise without neglecting the various - e.g. methodological, ontological, political - tensions between heterogeneous knowledge systems. At the same time, we caution that philosophy of science has also been shaped by demarcation debates that risk misrepresenting transdisciplinary negotiations by focusing on the division between science and non-science rather than fruitful exchange between academic and non-academic forms of expertise. We therefore argue that Indigenous expertise constitutes a core concern for philosophy of science and for understanding the complexity of interventions into social-environmental systems at the interface of science and policy. Chilisa, B. (2019). Indigenous research methodologies. Sage Publications. Kendig, C. (2020). Ontology and values anchor indigenous and grey nomenclatures. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 84: 101340. Kimmerer, R. W. (2013). Braiding sweetgrass: Indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge and the teachings of plants. Milkweed Editions. Koskinen, I., & Rolin, K. (2019). Scientific/intellectual movements remedying epistemic injustice: the case of indigenous studies. Philosophy of Science, 86(5): 1052-1063. Ludwig, D. (2017). Indigenous and scientific kinds. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 68(1): 187-212. Ludwig, D., Boogaard, B., Macnaghten, P., & Leeuwis, C. (2022). The politics of knowledge in inclusive development and innovation. In press. Mncube, Z. (2021). On local medical traditions. In Global Epistemologies and Philosophies of Science (pp. 231-242). Routledge.
Submission ID :
PSA2022238
Submission Type
Wageningen University & Research
Utrecht University
Universidade Federal da Bahia
Wageningen University & Research
Wageningen University & Research
Michigan State University
Wageningen University & Research
University of Western Australia
Universidade Federal da Bahia
Wageningen University & Research
Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
Wageningen University & Research
Wageningen University & Research
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Symposiast
,
University of Western Australia

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