Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Teo

Epistemology

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5583-7_95

Introduction

The term “epistemology” originated to designate a branch of philosophy concerned with the nature, sources, and limits of knowledge, focused on articulating criteria for defining knowledge, for adjudicating knowledge claims, and for specifying “valid” knowledge generating procedures. Epistemology can also be understood to refer to societal discourses of knowledge that inform people’s understandings and that configure how different social agents are evaluated as knowledge producers, hence its relevance for psychological concerns. Whereas traditional debates in contemporary Western philosophy tend to focus on formal criteria for defining knowledge, critiques of knowledge from feminist theory, postcolonial critiques and other critical perspectives emphasize instead the situatedness and historicity of discourses of knowledge, their power-infused nature, and the politics of their social construction. Within psychology, the term has been extended in recent decades to denote the...

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References

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyClark UniversityWorcesterUSA