The Supplementary Clerk: Social Epistemology as a Vocation

Social Epistemology 26 (3-4):435-451 (2012)
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Abstract

The production and circulation of scholarly texts have long been at the center of the theoretical concerns of social epistemologists. In this essay, Foucault?s notion of an ?archive,? a set of practices that operates between the corpus and the language to produce ?statements,? is used to identify a site for a practicing (as distinct from theorizing) social epistemologist. By supporting the efforts of researchers to publish their work, and hence participate in the conversations that define their area of expertise, social epistemologists can make a real contribution to the growth of knowledge, while gaining a working understanding of its nature. The essay suggests how the epistemologist might help scholars manage both their rhetoric and their writing process to this end, becoming a philosophical ?consultant?: not quite a hand-maiden, but a kind of clerk, to the sciences

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