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Knowledge Politics

Charalambos Tsekeris

Subject Politics
Sociology » Sociology of Knowledge

Key-Topics knowledge

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405124331.2007.x


Casting aside all classical dualisms and calls for transcendental justification or transcontextual rationalistic foundations, the idea of “knowledge politics,” or “truth power,” originally anticipated by Carl Schmitt's “polemical precision” of political and social scientific concepts, exemplifies the “natural proximity of facts and values” and the intrinsic impurity of any epistemological project (Pels 2003). The indigenous simultaneity (or circularity) between empirical and normative judgments, which radically introduces performative representations that cannot transcend the discourse totalities in which they are embedded, mainly draws from the epistemological double play of pouvoir/savoir triggered by Michel Foucault's work. According to the (heavily influenced by Nietzsche) Foucauldian genealogical challenge to conventional morality and the standard conceptions in humanist philosophy and social political theory, the irreductionist principle of knowledge politics could help us break the dominant binary codes and realize the inherent powers and dangers of truth-seeking as well as the “prodigious machinery of the will to truth, with its vocation of exclusion” (Foucault 1972: 220). In a similar, albeit more rationalistic, vein, this principle is also met in Alvin Gouldner's progressive “politics of the mind” as well as in Pierre Bourdieu's interest-committed notion of a “Realpolitik ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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