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Aktuelle Seite: polylog 50

polylog 50

winter 2023

Lara Hofner: Editorial 

Epistemische Gewalt

Hg. Anke Graneß, Nausikaa Schirilla



Claudia Brunner

Ungerechtigkeit, Unterdrückung oder doch Gewalt?

Feministische Konzeptionen der epistemischen Grundlagen globaler sozialer Verhältnisse

The concept of epistemic violence, which became known with the literary scholar Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, is being used in cultural studies, the humanities and the social sciences with increasing self-evidence. However, of all disciplines that deal intensively with its two core elements – epistemology in philosophy and violence in political science – view the combination of both dimensions with scepticism. From various feminist perspectives, this essay aims to contribute to making an interdisciplinary and multidimensional concept of epistemic violence plausible for a philosophy and political theory that is only gradually facing up to its own androcentrism and Eurocentrism. Fundamental to this is the recognition of the historical and contemporary entanglements of knowledge and domination that are constitutive of colonial modernity. On this basis, it will become clear that the interdisciplinary examination of both the pheno­menon and the concept of epistemic violence makes the latter connectable to important questions in epistemology, theory, methodology as well as to academic organisational culture.

Moira Pérez

Epistemische Gewalt und der philosophische Kanon – ein intersektionaler Zugang

This paper proposes an intersectional, non-identitarian perspective on epistemic violence, taking academic philosophy, and in particular the reinforcement of a philosophical canon, as a case of analysis. Mainstream philosophy has long been reluctant to confront its history of exclusion and the ongoing practices that marginalise some social groups, languages and regions from the legitimised circuits of philosophical knowledge building. The concept of epistemic violence, alongside a range of tools developed in recent years by social epistemology, shed light on the variety and complexity of the practices of epistemic silencing, exclusion and marginalisation that occur in all social interactions, and allow us to assess the specifically epistemic loss that they entail. In recent decades, various initiatives have sought to counteract the exclusion of certain social groups from philosophy, most notably feminist perspectives that aim to highlight some of the contributions made by women to academic philosophical reflection. However, these approaches seem insufficient when we consider the complexity of the phenomenon of epistemic violence and how various factors of social marginalisation intertwine and reinforce each other. An intersectional view shows the inadequacy of taking a single axis without considering how it is co-constituted by other variables that make it internally heterogeneous and hierarchical. It exposes how epistemic violence, but also the and non-intersectional approaches to it, reduce the questions, answers, strategies and narratives that are allowed to flourish in philosophy. Taken together, the concept of epistemic violence and an intersectional perspective reveal how mere »inclusion« is not enough to transform the philosophical canon and enrich the spectrum of perspectives in our discipline.

Manuel Rivera Espinoza

Questioning the Truism of Fractured Experience

On the Neo-Orientalist features of Michael Puett’s reading of early China

The paper begins by revisiting the ongoing debate surrounding Orientalism in early Chinese studies, with a specific focus on the allegations of essentialism and Orientalism leveled against Roger Ames by Michael Puett and Paul Goldin, respectively. Upon a thorough examination of Edward Said’s work, it becomes evident that these accusations lack a solid foundation. Furthermore, Puett’s interpretation of ancient Chinese texts as illustrating »fractured experience« may itself exhibit neo-Orientalist features. This perspective gains support through the lens of Gayatri Spivak’s concept of »epistemic violence« and Edgardo Lander’s exploration of the »coloniality of knowledge.« By way of conclusion, the paper proposes that Boaventura de Sousa Santos’ ideas may offer a way to escape the Orientalist paradigm and acknowledge non-Western, particularly early Chinese, forms of know­ledge and experience.

Divya Dwivedi

Zum Verhältnis von Kastenwesen und Rassismus. 

Die homologische Macht der Arierlehre

In the fight against racism, philosophy has to interrogate caste in its own histories and in its current decolonial consensus. Caste has been evading its interrogation as the oldest race theory and racist practice, which continue to oppress the lower-caste peoples who constitute the majority population of the Indian subcontinent. Caste and race are species of the hypophysics of man, which consecrates scaled intrinsic value in human nature through the notion of »being-born-as« by »being-born-to«. They are analogues in having the same denigrate-dominate function of exploiting by including as born-inferior. However, caste and race are also homologues since the hypophysics of caste has been at the origins of the hypophysics of race from at least the eighteenth century, culminating in the “Aryan doctrine” of the Nazi, now being revived. Caste was the empirical and textual resource for Europeans as it showed that large groups could be dominated as well as excluded through the self-designated superiority, supplied by the Brahminical texts, of the oppressing group. Rather than a colonial construct, caste is the oldest racism, which in colonial times devised new calypsologies – ways to mask itself against the rising anti-caste thought and politics. Postcolonial and subaltern theories disguise caste’s racism as »religion«, »culture«, and subaltern subjectivity, while some sociologists have de­nigrated Dalit scholarship as unacademic and emotional. The homologies of caste are still dangerously regnant today. 

Hannah Schey

Kritik einer kolonialen Vernunft. 

Über Kants Rassismus hinaus

In this paper, I examine Kantian philosophy with a twofold aim: As a first step, I situate his theories on race within the context of his critical philosophy, especially the third Critique. I can thereby show not only that Kant was racist, but also get a better look at the implications of his racism for his philosophical project. I then look at paradigmatic receptions of Kant in the secondary literature that discuss his racism and attempt to work through and beyond it by focusing on his universalism or lack thereof. Building on this mostly exegetical groundwork, as a second main step I examine the ways in which precisely that universalism may be problematic from the point of view of decolonial theory.

Cara-Julie Kather 

Mathematik, Rationalität und Humanismus: 

Paradigmen der zeitgenössischen Westlichen Bedeutungsgebung

A lot of feminist and decolonial critiques of knowledge get confronted with the reference to »hard sciences« or »mathematical reasoning« as examples that supposably showcase that there are epistemic spheres of no political dimensions and complete universality.
This paper commits to a deconstruction of exactly such a reasoning in directly arguing to view Mathematics not only as also being knowledge production bearing political dimensions but even claiming it to play a particular role in securing hegemonic structures of knowing. In putting forth this argument I have three main claims: a) What is commonly referred to as »mathematics« is actually a specifically Western way of conceptualizing what it means to »think mathematically« (here referred to as Mathematics). b) The Western concept of Mathematics is conceptually entangled with Western concepts of Rationality and Humanism. c) These three concepts and their entanglement can be understood as a re-establishing epistemically violent structures of knowledge. 


Ursula Baatz / Nausikaa Schirilla

Philosophy World Democracy

Afrikanische Geschichtsschreibung



Mădălina Diaconu

polylog in Zahlen. Eine empirische Studie

Ursula Baatz

Wie “polylog” zustande kam. Perspektiven auf die (Vor-) Geschichte

[Beide Berichte in einem PDF als Sonderdruck]


Arne Klawitter: 

Chinesisches Denken in Vergangenheit und Gegenwart. 

Zu: Anne Cheng: Geschichte des chinesischen Denkens und zu: Fabian Heubel: Was ist chinesische Philosophie? Kritische Perspektiven. Nr. 50, S. 126-30.

Bianca Bär: 

Eine Ausleuchtung der vielfältigen Bedeutungsdimensionen von »Raum« und »Identität« 

Zu: Noelia Bueno Gómez/Salvador Beato Bergua (Hrsg.): Intercultural Approaches to Space and Identity. Nr. 50, S. 130-31.

Bianca Boteva-Richter: 

Interkulturell werden als Person und als Welt. 

Zu Raúl Fornet-Betancourt: Tradition, Dekolonialität, Konvivenz. Themenfelder zur Erprobung Interkultureller Philosophie. Nr. 50, S. 131-35.

Barbara Schellhammer: 

Warum nicht auch »Fußbücher«? Auf Reisen mit Bernhard Waldenfels. 

Zu: Bernhard Waldenfels: Reisetagebuch eines Phänomenologen. Aus den Jahren 1978–2019. Nr. 50, S. 135-37.

Anke Graneß: 

Epistemische Ungerechtigkeit. 

Zu: Schleidgen, Sebastian; Friedrich, Orsolya & Wolkenstein, Andreas (Hrsg.): Bedeutung und Implikationen epistemischer Ungerechtigkeit. Nr. 50, S. 137-40.

Heidi Wilm: 

Yogaphilosophie im Flow. 

Zu: Laura von Ostrowski (2022): Ein Text in Bewegung. Das Yogasūtra als Praxiselement im Ashtanga Yoga – eine historische, religionsästhetische und ethnographische Studie. Nr. 50, S. 140-42. 

Wolfgang Tomaschitz: 

Buchtipp zu: Ursula Baatz: Achtsamkeit. Der Boom. Hintergründe, Perspektiven, Praktiken.  Nr. 50, S. 142-43.

Anke Graneß: 

Buchtipp zu: Sarah Flavel/Chiara Robbiano (Eds.): Key Concepts in World Philosophy. A Toolkit for Philosophers. Nr. 50, S. 143-44.

Anke Graneß: 

Un/Doing Epistemic Violence. 

Zu: Journal für Entwicklungspolitik, Special Issue, Guest Editor: Claudia Brunner. Nr. 50, S. 145-47.



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