The primacy of indigenous ways of knowing

July 21, 2022 • 2:30 pm

Greg Mayer pointed out that my colleague Brian Leiter posted on this exchange, and I’m shamelessly stealing his material (his actual words are few). I’d seen this Twitter exchange before but had forgotten about it.  Here’s what Brian said on his post “When you can’t tell what’s a parody and what isn’t” on his Leiter Reports site.

This exchange has been circulating on social media.  My first reaction was that this had to be a parody of mindless identity politics, but in fact the participants actually believe their nonsense.   God help the universities if too many people like this gain a foothold.

I have news for you, Brian: they already have—in New Zealand.

It was Bill Maher who said:  “When what you’re doing sounds like an Onion headline, stop.” That’s an excellent quote. The stuff above does, as does my last post on insane school policies on nonattendance.

21 thoughts on “The primacy of indigenous ways of knowing

  1. Here are the dramatis personae:

    Interesting that all of them are academics, yet all have their own webpages on their own domain (I do too, but I’m a freelancer). Such people are in a nutshell why I try to steer clear of Twitter. To be fair, Alanna Cronk did a minute of actual research before her ad-hom putdown: Brian Griffith really *is* a scholar of “winemaking in fascist Italy”.

    1. alanna cronk (almost mispelled that) is still an undergrad; perhaps groergetown doesn’t give them webpages?

  2. I have news for Ms. Hernandez: Science is not knowledge, it is a method for gathering and testing “facts” and interpretive theories.

    1. To refute Ms Hernandez adequately you need to repeat your claim at least another 7 times, probably more if you want to be fully convincing, even more still should you be pale, male and stale.

  3. They are moral and racial entrepreneurs.
    Indigenous knowledge and its insistence on scientific pretentions are actually a threat to real medicine/science. In NZ they’re putting aside NZ$100M for “indigenous psychiatry”. For astrology and chanting. $20 for every single NZ citizen.
    Archeology is similarly hobbled by these initiatives in the US (particularly California)


    *US $80 million -ish

  4. I particularly enjoyed the fact that Brian J Griffith clearly thought he was weighing in on the side of the angels with the usual guff about different ways of knowing, and still got slapped down for it. It is very much like NZ.

    1. Yup. Anyone who would slap down someone trying to be nice clearly knows she is in the driver’s seat. What a scorpion! (Can scorpions drive?)

  5. Indigenous knowledge is not science^9 .
    There. That incantation oughta hold ’em for a while.

    1. My all-time favorite bumper sticker: “If you don’t like the way I drive, stay off the sidewalk.”

  6. There’s suddenly articles popping up everywhere about ‘cultural burning’ in the mainstream media. It’s very hard to find proper sources because google is flooded with articles from the usual suspects in academia. I really dislike the fact the media at large is so uncritical about these things.

  7. Great exchange, some Great Classics of Wokism here (formerly known as “social justice warriors)

    (1) posturing, that says nothing about anything except that the speaker is a Certified Good Person.
    (2) Constant repetition, no attempt to persuade.
    (3) Other Ways of Knowing.
    (4) Assertions rest on belief, and cannot possibly be assessed.
    (5) “You don’t get to” 😆
    (6) Uncharitable Interpretation.
    (7) Typical histrionic hostility.
    (8) Gatekeeping (SJW points are scarce, they constantly fight over them).
    (9) White Man Bad.

  8. I wonder if “indigenous science” will be able to produce vaccines for the next Covid variant, put satellites in orbit, or build cheaper electric cars.

    Woke academics like “Jessica Hernandez, Phd” are distasteful because they gladly reap the benefits of western science, technology, and medicine while trying to undermine the values that make them possible. The hypocrisy is rancid.

  9. In the NZ context, Some one has just pointed out to me this excellent article from 1994:

    I imagine if that this were published today it would be dismissed out of hand as “racism”. Indeed, Craig Shearer, the current Chair of the NZ Skeptics, was one of the signatories of the Wiles/Hendy pile-on response to the Listener Seven letter. It’s depressing to see how far the standard of discussion has fallen in the past 30 years, and it would be interesting to study how it happened with so few people noticing.

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