Overcoming Dogma in Epistemology




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Association for Interdisciplinary Studies


Nothing will put academics on a high horse quicker than unacceptable standards of evidential support or interpretative argument. The trouble is that there are different and incompatible standards. Unacceptable standards means, then, unacceptable from a certain epistemological perspective. Since academic disciplines or subdisciplines are often defined by a given epistemological position, people can easily become epistemological dogmatists. Almost anyone associated with academia is aware of the result: misunderstanding and mistrust across disciplines and missed opportunities for creative thinking within disciplines. In this article these misfortunes are tackled with tools forged from philosophy, science, anthropology, and cultural history. The goal is transformative: we can dismount the high horse by learning to understand, tolerate, appreciate, and even use alternative approaches in our own work. Indeed, we should do just that.




Bell, James A. "Overcoming Dogma in Epistemology." Issues in Integrative Studies 16 (1998): 99-119.