I’ve just read “A sociolinguistic approach to applied epistemology: examining technocratic values in global ‘knowledge’ policy” by P Graham and R Rooney (Social Epistimology 2001 v15 no3 155-69). Epistemology is the study of what knowledge is, how it is acquired and how is it that subjects/objects can be known. I think that this article is arguing that knowledge cannot be commodified, classified, grouped, isolated – it is the outputs (information) that can, but it is framed within the context it was generated in so there are limitations. Context is important. Naming confers power over. So naming a object or subject ‘thingifies’ it and in the end, it is sometimes manipulated by technocratic forces and in that process, made legitimate. Graham and Rooney use God as one example, but their main example is knowledge. Also in this argument is the rejection that knowledge has only value to the extent that it can be commodifed (which is what the KM industry seem to support). This is backed up by the authors research into social policy which uncovers the misconceptions of what knowledge is, and how it functions in social coherence and autopoesis. So … technocrats, believing they can have power over knowledge, have named it for this reason … ? Maybe. That was my first thoughts over KM, which I immediately thought was some sort of new method in social control. This article by Graham and Rooney is a philosophical backup to TD Wilson’s article that I wrote about in my previous post. The basic point that they both make is – KM? They don’t know what they are talking about!!
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