Kelly Louise Rexzy Agra
- School: School of Philosophy
- Supervisor: Professor Maeve Cooke
In my work, I develop the notion of ‘epistemic paralysis’ which I conceptualize as something that can happen to knowers, or even knowledge itself, in occasions or situations of injustice that are of the epistemic kind. I theorize epistemic paralysis as a phenomenon that can happen to knowers when (1) their epistemic capacities (be they individuals, groups, communities, or even institutions) get inhibited in different ways and degrees as prejudice or power differentials condition social-epistemic interaction. Meanwhile, it may also refer to the stunting of the development of knowledges as a result of (2) the blocking of their intersubjective and institutional generation, distribution, or uptake. In both instances, epistemic success is constrained because the conditions or support mechanisms that allow for its success are lacking or absent. I use the concept of epistemic paralysis to critique the ways in which knowledge and knowers can sustain or challenge oppressive practices, societies, or institutions. I develop it using tools from Decolonial and Feminist Epistemologies, and of Critical Social Theory.