Konferenz/Kongress/Symposium

Oppression, Experience and Language. Wittgenstein and Epistemic Injustice

International Conference in Paris on March 24–25, 2022

24. - 25. März 2022
Organisator:
Veranstaltungsort: Universität Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne

The theme of the conference is to discuss, following Wittgenstein’s philosophy, the relations between oppression, experience and language in epistemic contexts.

Feminist philosophy’s preoccupation with questions of cognition, knowledge and science has emerged from the fact that women – as well as other discriminated groups of people – are disadvantaged both as objects and subjects of knowledge when, on the one hand, they are not taken into account in scientific (e.g. economic or medical) investigations and, on the other hand, their access to institutions of knowledge production is impeded or their epistemic authority is questioned. What is in focus here, then, is that and how various forms of oppression and experiences of epistemic injustice (Fricker 2007, Médina 2012) are produced, established and reinforced by our epistemic practices.

Feminist epistemology and philosophy of science can thus be understood as a critique of established epistemic practices by examining and questioning the social conditions, such as gender, social and ethnic background, and the theoretical presuppositions, such as standards of objectivity, rationality and value freedom, of knowledge and science.

In this context, Wittgenstein's philosophy has been a valuable resource for feminist epistemology for the last decade. Because it allows a renewed conception of "objectivity" and of the way lived experience can be articulated to the production of knowledge, the reading of Wittgenstein opens a reflection on what "masculine bias" in science mean, or on the establishment of criteria of objectivity (Diamond 1991; Crary 2001). Some Wittgensteinian concepts, such as “forms of life” or “language games” are also fruitful for thinking about the ways of making sense or expressing the experience of oppression, and thus come to redefine the perspectives of Critical Theory (Ferrarese & Laugier 2018; Jaeggi 2013). By paying greater attention to ordinary details, as an antidote avoiding the “craving for generality”, Wittgenstein’s philosophy has given rise to singular developments on the renewal of feminist epistemology (Cattien 2017; Scheman 2000), anthropology (Das 2006) or ordinary language philosophy (Diamond 2019; Laugier 2013).

Following the International Workshop and Conference “Wittgenstein and Feminism” held in March 2021, we wish to pay attention to the importance of Wittgenstein’s work to explore how the relations between different forms of oppression – sexist, racist, classist and others –, experience and language manifest in epistemic contexts. The discussion will take shape along three axes that serve to orient, but not limit:

  1. Epistemic injustices: How do gender, race and class affect the production, acquisition and transfer of knowledge? In what way does language as a tool of power, as speech and embodied experience reinforce or indicate certain epistemic injustices and in way can language serve to criticise certain conceptions of knowledge, discourse and epistemological criteria?
  2. Standpoints and situated knowledge: What forms of oppression are inscribed in the theoretical presuppositions (such as standards of objectivity, rationality and value freedom but also language/forms of linguistic expression in general) of knowledge and science and (how) can these be overcome?
  3. Methodological reflections: Are there certain research methods that serve feminist interests and goals better or worse (e.g. quantitative vs. qualitative methods)? Should research consider and include unconventional methods to articulate, explore and overcome forms of oppression (e.g. storytelling, art, poetry)?

Confirmed keynote speakers are:

  • Prof. Estelle Ferrarese (Université de Picardie Jules Vernes, Amiens, France)
  • Prof. Manon Garcia (Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA)
  • Prof. Rahel Jaeggi (Humboldt-Universität, Berlin, Germany)

This is a two-part event, involving a conference and workshops on the themes listed above.
The workshops will involve close discussion of pre-circulated papers in small groups, each featuring one of our keynotes. For the workshops, we ask that you currently be enrolled in a graduate program (masters or doctorate) or have completed a graduate degree within the past year. This is not a requirement for the conference. You may apply to both the conference and the workshops, but if you do so, we ask that you submit two separate, distinct papers. Papers submitted to the workshops may be works in progress. All submissions must be in English.
There is no registration fee.

The aim of this event is to support the philosophical work of women and all other marginalized gender identities on Wittgenstein and feminism. We therefore invite submissions from women and members of all other marginalized gender identities only.

To apply for the conference, please fill out this form:
https://forms.gle/LzqimZEeRcXDRTbS8
To apply for the workshops, please fill out this form:
https://forms.gle/WG5GmxErYb6NLpZE7

Applications for both the conference and workshops are due by December 31, 2021. All successful applicants to the workshops should be ready to submit full papers by February 1, 2022. There is no such requirement for successful conference applicants. Questions and submissions for the conference should be directed to Mickaëlle Provost (mickaelle.provost(at)univ-paris1.fr) and Jasmin Trächtler (jasmin.traechtler(at)tu-dortmund.de).

Call for Papers

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