question of what it means to speak for an-other. I explore that question in relation to philosophers like Linda Alcoff, Iris Marion Young, and Gayatri Spivak, and. ; revised and reprinted in Who Can Speak? Authority and Critical Identity edited by Judith Roof and Robyn Wiegman, University of Illinois Press, ; and . The Problem of Speaking for Others. Author(s): Linda Alcoff. Source: Cultural Critique, No. 20 (Winter, ), pp. Published by: University of.
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Each line had people in it. In speaking about theories or ideas that gain prominence, oof says: What this entails in practice is a serious commitment to remain open to criticism and to attempt actively, attentively, and sensitively to “hear” the criticism understand it. Not only what is emphasized, noticed, and how it is understood will be affected by the location of both speaker and hearer, but the truth-value or epistemic status will also be affected.
So often, of course, the authority of such persons based on their merit combines with the authority they may enjoy by virtue limda their having the dominant gender, race, class, or sexuality.
In other words, some persons are accorded discursive authority because they are respected leaders or because they are teachers in a classroom and know more about the material at hand. I want to illustrate the implications of this fourth point by applying it to the examples I gave at the beginning. Persons from dominant groups who speak for others are often treated as authenticating presences that confer legitimacy and credibility on the demands of subjugated speakers; such speaking for others does nothing to disrupt the discursive hierarchies that operate in public spaces.
Such a desire for mastery and immunity must be resisted. Another problem concerns how specific an identity needs to be to confer epistemic authority. Spivak’s arguments show that a simple solution can not be found in for the oppressed or less privileged being able to speak for themselves, since their speech will not necessarily lijda either liberatory or reflective of their “true interests”, if such exist.
On the Problem of Speaking for Others – Hook & Eye
If ideas arise in such a limda of forces, does it make sense to ask for an author? And an important implication of this claim is that meaning must be understood as plural and shifting, since a single text can engender diverse meanings given diverse contexts. Lee – – Hypatia 26 2: When meaning is plural and deferred, we can never hope to know the totality of effects.
Anne Cameron, a very gifted white Canadian author, writes several first person accounts of the lives of Native Canadian women. Moreover, making the decision for oneself whether or not to retreat is an extension or application of privilege, not an abdication of it.
An absolute retreat weakens political effectivity, is based on a metaphysical illusion, and often effects only an obscuring of the intellectual’s power.
The Problem of Speaking For Others
University of Illinois Press, This question is important, regardless of whether you claim membership in that community or not, but is particularly salient for identity groups that have seen their histories erased, distorted, or only partially represented within dominant culture.
Still, it is sometimes called for.
This was published in Cultural Critique Winterpp. This issue of who gets to speak for whom comes up a lot in my research. And this is simply because we cannot neatly separate off our mediating praxis which interprets and constructs our experiences from the praxis of others. Intersectionality in Philosophy of Gender, Race, and Sexuality. I will not address the possible differences that arise from these different practices, and will address myself to the fictional “generic” practice of speaking for.
To answer this, we must become clearer on the epistemological and metaphysical claims which are implicit in the articulation of the problem. This is not to suggest that all representations are fictions: She may even feel justified in exploiting her privileged capacity for personal happiness at the expense of others on the grounds that she has no alternative.
orhers Feminist Epistemology in Epistemology. There is an ambiguity in the two phrases: When we sit down to write, or get up to speak, we experience ourselves as making choices. But surely it is both morally and politically objectionable to structure one’s actions around the desire to avoid criticism, especially if this outweighs other questions of effectivity.
For instance, after I vehemently defended Barbara Christian’s article, “The Race for Theory,” a male friend who had a different evaluation of the piece couldn’t help raising the possibility of whether a sort of apologetics structured my otherss, motivated by a desire to valorize African American writing against all odds.
The task is therefore to explicate the relations between politics and knowledge rather than pronounce the death of truth.
On the Problem of Speaking for Others
The unspoken premise here is simply that a speaker’s location is epistemically salient. However, the problem of speaking for others is more specific than the problem of representation generally, and requires its own particular analysis. Some have come forward as former workers, but I lroblem what impact that has on their careers and on their conceptualizations of their spaces as safe. First I want to consider the argument that the very formulation of the problem with speaking for others involves a retrograde, metaphysically insupportable essentialism that assumes one can read off the truth and meaning of what one says straight from the discursive context.
Thus, the problem problm speaking for others exists in the very structure of discursive practice, irrespective of its content, and subverting the hierarchical rituals of speaking will always have some liberatory effects. For example, can a white woman speak for all women simply by virtue of being a woman?
Cornell University Press, Science Logic and Mathematics.