We tend to see knowledge creation as a rational process, made possible by our capacity to reason. But to what extent is it?
We tend to see knowledge creation as a rational process, made possible by our capacity to reason. But is it? In ascertaining science being rational and objective, we have made it divorced from passion and emotions, according to environmental and social scientist Esha Shah. As a result we have created institutions, practices, beliefs and values in which the feeling and experiencing person doing science is generally erased. In this session, we discuss how knowledge paradigms emerge from a deeply emotional, metaphysical and existential place. Seeking knowledge is as much about building a world, as it is about seeking a self. Drawing from biographical accounts of prominent scientists, Shah challenges the dominant idea that scientific knowledge is a product of mere empirical and rational inquiry.
About series ‘Who Knows?’
How do you know what you know?
Who decides who knows? And how can we understand and value different claims to knowledge?
In this series we invite you to dive into these large questions.
About Esha Shah
Esha Shah is environmental engineer and social scientist. She works as a researcher and teacher at the Water Resource Management Group at Wageningen University & Research, and has expertise in the fields of anthropology, history and philosophy of science and technology. Her research interests include affective histories on the way in which human subjectivity (including emotions and affects) shape modes of development, normativity, political rationality, and knowledge practices, including objectivity in science and engineering. Who is the agentic self? How it is formed and how it is intertwined with the making of rationality (public, political or scientific)? What is science and how it is done and what is the role of subjectivity and inter-subjectivity in shaping objectivity?