Peter Boghossian and James Lindsay on Research Justice

From P2P Foundation
Revision as of 06:06, 17 September 2019 by Mbauwens (talk | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Video via


"In The Trojan Horse Episode 2: Radical Subjectivity, Dr. Peter Boghossian, Dr. James Lindsay, and Michael O’Fallon sit together at a table in New York City to explore the ideologies and strategies being employed in the fields of research and science that are negatively impacting true progress. Their discussion opens with and revolves around one such alternative value that currently threatens the integrity of the scholarly canon: research justice, which is an intentional practice to introduce the ideas and objectives of Social Justice into the scholarly canon."

James Lindsay, and Michael O’Fallon :

"Under a rubric of research justice, there are two primary objectives. First, there is the goal of increasing the direct representation of certain members of certain identity groups that have been historically considered marginalized or oppressed. Second, there is the corollary objective of importing the claims, arguments, ideas, methods, and epistemologies that have been associated with those identity groups by postmodern critical Theory and its descendants, including postcolonial Theory, queer Theory, and critical race Theory. Research justice can be achieved, Theory instructs, by intentionally citing, teaching, and forwarding more “oppressed” identities, providing people of those identities with more opportunities to teach and research, importing the “knowledges” and “ways of knowing” associated with cultures other than white and Western ones, and by concomitantly reducing the citations and teaching or research opportunities of people with more “dominant” identities, specifically straight, white, Western males.

It should be noted that not all points of view from oppressed identities are welcome under a program of research justice. Only those that speak to the Theoretically authentic “lived experience” of oppression as a person of that identity are allowed. To do otherwise would be to “speak into” discourses of power and privilege rather than to speak critically of them in an effort to dismantle them. That is, research justice is a deliberate attempt to undermine the integrity of the scholarly canon, under a nice-seeming banner of “inclusivity” and “justice,” in order to forward a particular political agenda rooted in the Social Justice worldview.

As Boghossian and Lindsay discuss, this view of the world requires a radical turn toward subjectivity and away from objective approaches to knowledge. It therefore replaces the truth, however provisionally that might be held, with my truth, which will be pitted against your truth. The arbiter of who is right and who is wrong under this radical subjective turn is one’s identity and its relationship to the power dynamics of society today and throughout history. In shortest expression, those who are deemed oppressed and who speak from that experience of oppression have stronger claims on truth than those who aren’t and don’t.

This turn proceeds and develops from the social theorizing of the postmodern philosophers, like the French thinker Michel Foucault and the American Richard Rorty, who contended that while objective reality may exist “out there,” we have no access to it. Objectivity–a “God’s eye view,” as Rorty held it–is inaccessible, and what remains to us is to recognize our subjective natures and, as a consequence, that all we hold true is true first and foremost only to us and as a social construct of the sociopolitical environment we find ourselves. Truth, in this view, becomes either entirely subjective or a noble fiction, and science and other rigorous methods become but one way of knowing that is embedded in and skewed by its default political orientation as a product of the white, male, Western culture that produced it." (