Title

Fuzzy Epistemology: Decolonizing the Social Sciences

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2019

Keywords

coloniality, decolonization, fuzzy logic, social science epistemology

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.1111/jtsb.12229

Abstract

This article first argues that the social sciences need to be decolonized, as the current epistemologies and research methodologies are too narrowly based on the European and North American experiences and hence unable to adequately capture non‐European experiences and realities. I then argue that decolonizing dominant social science epistemology means freeing it from its Aristotelian foundation. The next step undertaken is to discuss five non‐Western epistemologies from West Africa, China, Melanesia, India, and South America. Building on the work of Jimi Adesina (2002), I find that all five share a fuzzy perception of reality, allowing for statements that are non‐exclusive, non‐discrete, and hence fuzzy. I propose an operationalization of these fuzzy epistemologies by applying Charles Ragin's Fuzzy Set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fscqa).

Was this content written or created while at USF?

Yes

Citation / Publisher Attribution

Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, in press

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