If a professor told you about pushback from their students, you might assume that their students are complaining about having too much homework, or that the assigned reading is boring. The philosopher Alison Bailey says that she often encounters a different, and much more problematic, form of resistance in her classroom. She calls it “epistemic pushback” and explains that students often do it without even noticing. On today’s episode, we discuss the phenomenon of “privilege protective epistemic pushback.” It’s a form of resistance in which students who are members of dominant groups derail classroom conversations that make them uncomfortable into an “epistemic home turf” where they feel more comfortable. Alison Bailey explains exactly what epistemic pushback is, and discusses the ways it slows down classroom conversations.
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- Alison Bailey
- “Navigating Epistemic Pushback in Feminist and Critical Race Philosophy Classes“
- Alison Bailey is a repeat guest! She joined us on episode 6 to discuss a phenomenon known as “white talk”
- René Descartes and skepticism
- Applied ethics
- Claudia Card, “Rape is a Terrorist Institution“
- The use-mention distinction
- José Medina’s “beneficial epistemic friction” concept
- “Racism is especially rampant in places and people that produce knowledge” – Gloria Anzaldúa
- This is a quote that Alison Bailey opens her article on epistemic pushback with, and it informs her thinking on the ways in which ignorance is produced in classrooms.
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