Accumulating Epistemic Power
Abstract: In her, December 3rd, 2014, Salon piece, “White American’s Scary Delusion: Why Its Sense of Black Humanity is So Skewed,” Brittney Cooper labels the stupefaction many people have in the face of today’s Black rage an “epistemology problem.” It is a problem, she explains, of people utilizing inadequate frameworks for understanding “reasonable” responses to relentless state sanctioned violence against Black people. In this paper, I lend support to Cooper’s claim by outlining the accumulation of epistemic power that appears to result in a kind of oblivion concerning realities for Black people and police conduct. Ultimately, I claim that some accumulations of epistemic power can lead to resilient oblivion, i.e. impaired schedules of salience.
Kristie Dotson received her M.A. and Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Memphis. She also received a MA from the University of Illinois at Chicago in Literature and a BA in African American Studies and English Literature from Coe College. Professor Dotson researches in epistemology, feminist philosophy (particularly Black feminism and feminist epistemology), and critical philosophy of race.