Feminist theory


Nancy Tuana explores the nature of the epistemology of ignorance in her essay titled, "Coming to Understand: Orgasm and the Epistemology of Ignorance". She describes our current epistemologies as too narrow, lacking in scope and truth because they focus only on the knowledge we have and ignore the knowledge we don’t have. If we want to more fully understand how our culture produces information, “we must also understand that practices that account for not knowing, that is, our lack of knowledge about a phenomena or, in some cases, an account of the practices that resulted in a group unlearning what was once a realm of knowledge”. Essentially and somewhat paradoxically, if we want to understand how we have knowledge, we have to know what we don’t know, and why. The epistemology of ignorance serves to marginalize types of knowledge and erase or simply make invisible what was once and has always been available. This activity of making certain knowledge invisible contributes to the oppression of one class to those in power. It is this power dynamic that I will explore in specific relation by the science of women’s raced and classed bodies.



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