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Alliances and non-human knowledge

Finishing my lectures in epistemology and the final section on non-human knowledge. After stuff on capture and modulation (cf post below from last weekend on white blindness) in the context of process philosophy, we discussed the idea that knowledge is always an (explicit or implicit alliance) involving the knowers and the known. The known is not therefore a passive element that is merely captured or inspected but rather something that takes part in the process by acting in order to form a society (in Tardean sense) of knowledge that assembles a network. This assembling is what took place between Pasteur and the medicine and the science of his time and with the microbes in Latour's description. To present a theory is to present a network with strong and weak links - vulnerable to different tests of force. Knowledge is an assembling (an alliance) that has proven to be reliable (the J factor, in a rough JTB account of knowledge) that helps bringing about (or sponsoring) something so that it makes something be the case (the T factor). Instead of beliefs, we would have alliances as non-representational items that aggregates knower and known for as much as it resists tests of force. The J factor here would make the account externalist in the sense that it is enough for the actants to build on reliable connections.


  1. Non human knowledge has always been a topic of interest for me. I'd be curious to attend a few seminars or lectures on the topic in the future. Hopefully I'll get the time to do it!


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