Feminist epistemology and the surge of indigenous knowledge: the case of African philosophy
In this paper I argue against the position that real truth or knowledge is the knowledge produced or created by “male folk‟‟ while the knowledge that springs from the feminist perspective is regarded as insignificant. Thus, women are seen as consumers of knowledge not producers or creators of knowledge even when they might have contributed to knowledge. It is also argued that women are not taken into account in the search for knowledge /truth and communicating the same in Africa because of the patriarchal nature of African Society. It is on this position that Feminism is centrally concerned with the question of epistemology since its inception. Feminist advocates and scholars have sought to challenge the basis and characteristics of epistemologies which posit a conception of “truth‟‟, which is essentially „reality‟, interpreted from a male perspective. Thus, the knowledge produced by „female folk‟ is regarded as epistemic closure of knowledge –a knowledge that is within small group (contextual) that cannot be accepted and communicated as universal knowledge. The problem is that the search for knowledge and the ability to communicate it by the feminist is neglected and sometimes knowledge/truth gotten from them is seen as irrational and unacceptable. I attempt to reevaluate this problem and to show how feminist epistemology has contributed to the growth of indigenous knowledge and political communication within African Society and the universe at large by using these models, namely: Epistemic Social Normative (ESN) and Epistemic Ethical Normative (EEN). Within the models there are some principles that display how feminism epistemology has contributed to the growth of indigenous knowledge and communication in African Society. The method here is argumentative and conversational.
Keywords: Feminist Epistemology; Indigenous Knowledge African Philosophy; Normative Model