Volume 4, Issue 2, 2013
Scientific Epistemology versus Indigenous Epistemology: Meanings of ‘Place’ and ‘Knowledge’ in the Epistemic Cultures
The article is based on a synthetic comparative analysis of two different epistemic traditions and explores indigenous and scientific epistemic cultures through
close reading and exploration of two books. The first book, Epistemic Cultures: How the Sciences Make Knowledge, written by Austrian sociologist Karin Knorr-Cetina (1999), serves as an excellent foundational material to represent scientific epistemic tradition. The second book by cultural and linguistic anthropologist Keith Basso (1996), Wisdom Sits in Places: Landscape and Language among the Western Apache, opens a wide perspective for exploration indigenous epistemic culture. Both of the books deal with questions of knowledge production and social-cultural mechanisms that surround these processes. The article seeks to explain how the differences between methodological approaches, in their distinct questions, and the variance in research subjects eventually
leads the authors to completely dissimilar understandings of such shared notions as ‘place’ and ‘knowledge.’ Through the comparative exploration of both texts, the present analysis uncovers the meanings of these notions as articulated and presented in each of the books.