STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
Academic Psychosis: ‘Epistemological Violence’
By Ben Bartee - May 14, 2024

Originally published via Armageddon Prose:

Of course, a lot, rather any one thing in particular, has gone off the rails within Western intelligentsia — which was once, a long time in the past now, the noble vanguard of the Renaissance and Enlightenment and the envy of the civilized world.

So this isn’t anything like a holistic autopsy of the institutionalized pursuit of knowledge, as that would fill volumes longer than the Bible.

But “epistemological violence,” a concept I only recently became familiar with by name but have long seen as an implicitly understood north star of leftist academics, seems as good a place to start as any, as it strikes at the heart of the fundamental claim that the expression of disfavored truths is immoral or violent.

In the storied decline of the West, the advent of “epistemological violence” as a concept — and all the self-loathing and censorship that it implies — is a significant plot point.

Via Social and Personality Psychology Compass (emphasis added):

“The subject of violence is the researcher, the object is the Other, and the action is the interpretation of data that is presented as knowledge. Using a hypothetical example, the problem of interpretation in empirical research on the Other is discussed. Epistemological violence refers to the interpretation of social-scientific data on the Other and is produced when empirical data are interpreted as showing the inferiority of or problematizes the Other, even when data allow for equally viable alternative interpretations. Interpretations of inferiority or problematizations are understood as actions that have a negative impact on the Other. Because the interpretations of data emerge from an academic context and thus are presented as knowledge, they are defined as epistemologically violent actions.”
 Thomas Teo, York University psychology professor

So, for example, under this framework, not just pointing out but even documenting at all migrant crime statistics in Western Europe, which are wildly out of proportion to their share of the overall population, would be “epistemological violence” and therefore verboten.

RelatedMigrants in Germany Went on Record-Breaking 2023 Crime Spree

In an insidious way, “epistemological violence” strikes even deeper at the heart of the right of free expression than the mere silencing of unsanctioned speech.

Again, far from merely opining on the subjective social implications of the results of objective study, the labeling of the act of “epistemological violence” in the above example is carried out much earlier in the process of knowledge gathering and dissemination, at the stage of designing the metrics to be applied to measure migrant crime and then analyzing it to draw a conclusion.

The aim is to snuff out in the crib any investigation that might produce results adverse to the desired narrative before it ever gets a chance to breathe.

In this way, it’s next-level censorship — the “pre-crime” of censorship, if you will, to make the expression of unfashionable ideas impossible from the start by preventing the prerequisite questions from being posed.

The concept of “epistemological violence” is a similar outgrowth of the progressive hive mind as a related peculiar concept I have covered before at Armageddon Prose called “malinformation,” or “bad information” — not to be confused with “misinformation” or “disinformation.”

Unlike the latter two, “malinformation” refers to that which is true but which, by convoluted sophistry, will lead to some real or imagined harm in the world, usually with a protected minority class as the referent object.

Related‘Malinformation’: The Newest Weapon in the Censorship Regime’s Arsenal

Moronic Social Justice™ inventions like “malinformation” and “epistemological violence” are total subversions, by the way, of the longstanding Western common law tradition that the truth is always a defense.

Skeptics might call that subversion the feature rather than the bug.

Ben Bartee, author of Broken English Teacher: Notes From Exile, is an independent Bangkok-based American journalist with opposable thumbs.

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