Woke Call Speaking Undesirable Truths Epistemic Violence

Woke Call Speaking Undesirable Truths Epistemic Violence

Silence, they say—and they do say this—is violence. So is speaking violence. At least when the words spoken express disagreement with woke local truths, which is to say, with woke falsities and fantasies.

The name for spoken uncomfortable truths is epistemic violence. Here is one of the definitions of this term. (We have met it before in the peer-reviewed paper “The unbearable heaviness of climate coloniality”.)

Epistemological violence occurs when somebody interprets empirical results in a way that pathologizes or harms a marginalized group, even though there are equally good or better explanations for the same data.

Now data has causes; something always causes an event. Another way to say cause is explanation. There will be one true explanation for an observation, but there can be an infinite number of false ones. Many of these false ones will be desirable, and the temptation to surrender to desire is for many of us too much.

Desire can overcome thought with ease, as everybody knows, or should know, from hard experience. The state of desire having overcome thought, of having true explanations substituted for false ones, and forcing others to embrace the falsities, is called woke. Woke is the substitution of fantasy for Reality; the hostile rejection of Reality.

This substitution explains the woke phrase “lived experiences”, which would at first seem to signal a redundancy, but which we can now see always means fantasized experiences.

Proof of this is provided in the article with the definition. The purpose of the article, they say, was to show “how deceptions in science have been used to disenfranchise trans people and other marginalized groups.”

First fantasy: the groups mentioned are in no way “marginalized”. They are front and center and supported and celebrated by nearly all rulers, elites, celebrities and Experts. But they must be Victims (as we saw last week, this is a desirable status). They must view themselves as battling against evil forces, forces which somehow have magical powers that block “trans” activities. This is very much like the failures of ESP research blames on goats blocking sheeps’ performance (blog, Substack).

This false belief in “marginalization” is only one way fantasy replaces Reality. The second fantasy is to redefine science, by which they mean Reality. The true science of “trans” is that the men who think themselves to be women are men, and that the women who think themselves to be men are women. End of story, though there is some interest in just how these delusions are formed and sustain themselves.

Here’s how the try to get away with it.

Science is always “under-determined,” a technical term that basically means there are always multiple possible ways to interpret a set of data. That’s where a lot of misinformation and oversimplification comes from, in that gap that’s left. The idea of epistemological violence is that it’s wrong to interpret data in a way that punches down on marginalized people. We should try to interpret the data in a way that’s compatible with their inclusion and well-being, if that’s an equally good interpretation.

It is not true that science is always under-determined, though it can be. For explanations—theories—for observed events, it is. It is, as we saw above, always possible to posit alternate explanations for observations. There is no limit for alternatives.

It is also always possible to find a complete explanation for any observation. That is, one that explains the observations in all its elements. The other way to say this is that models can always be found to fit any set of data exactly. And it is always possible to find—rather, to create—an explanation that provides comfort to a cherished belief. Add these together, it means you can always posit a theory that both explains the data perfectly and is desirable.

Which doesn’t make it a true theory. Where I mean true as necessary truth—and not the local truths of the woke. This is why I have been harping on the distinction between these. Both necessary and local truths are products of rational logical deductions.

Yet you will remember from Class that only necessary truths have all its premises, stated and implied, as necessary truths themselves. Yet if you are determined to be a “rationalist”, you ignore fussiness over premises and concentrate on how beautifully logical the main argument is. This is what allows you call attacks on your local truth epistemic violence.

Incidentally, science is not under-determined in the observations themselves; rather, not all of them. One observation which it is certainly not under-determined is sex. Which is why the woke flee that word and embrace “gender” instead.

BONUS: Here’s a bunch more definitions of epistemic violence. As homework see how they fit into our scheme.

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  1. Leonard

    So when I was told to trust the science four years ago I was being told to trust something that was underdetermined. got it.

    War is the health of the state, and doublethink is the software of the state.

  2. Phileas_Frogg

    I got a good chuckle out of this since the only form of verbalization I will concede could be characterized as, “Violence,” (I prefer to call it, “aggression”) is LYING.

    Of course our enemies have always excelled at projection though, eh?

  3. Incitadus

    Briggs you need to get off your high horse and just marry a man or woman of color. It doesn’t matter anyway
    wherever you’re living will soon look like Mumbai or Zimbabwe. The time has come to embrace the horror you
    too can go woke if you’d just put a little effort into it. A soy diet might help. Epistemic violence leads to only one
    thing division and racial violence as intended. What kind of mind comes up with this stuff and has a big enough
    megaphone to launch it into reality?

  4. the idiocy of wokeness is a separate, independent dimension (think of a fifth) that other people cannot handle, let alone use for some planning-visionary future — like undoing the current interglacial on the globe.

  5. Brian (bulaoren)

    And how are we to know these new truths to be true? Consensus of course !

  6. alanstorm

    “Science is always “under-determined,” a technical term that basically means there are always multiple possible ways to interpret a set of data.”

    Let me guess – in relation to the climate, the same group screams “The Science is SETTLED!”

    Anyone want to bet against?

  7. Johnno

    BRIGGS, YOU FOOL! Thanks to all these genocidal paragraphs in your holocaust of an article, entire mass graves shall have to be dug for the epistemological harms you’ve so grossly committed in direct contravention of all of the articles of woke under-determined, yet undettered, THE SCIENCE ™. I’m calling Scotland Yard to let Humza know all about your pandemic of a blog post so that it can be contained only to the vicinity of the concentration camp of far right male presenting persons who have somehow all still managed to remain entirely undead and even more mysteriously unscated from your atomic bomb of an update!

  8. Hagfish Bagpipe


    “Of course our enemies have always excelled at projection though, eh?”

    Indeed. It seems to be a constant in man’s makeup. So much so that I wonder what I may be projecting. What I am projecting.

  9. Hagfish Bagpipe

    Sorry Briggs. Here I am responding to a commenter when I haven’t even addressed the substance of your, undoubtedly correct, pathologicalization of the latest manifestation of the immanantizationalism. Say, are you by any chance operating a top secret ham radio network of cryptological adepts assembling composite disgronificators to take over the world? Just wondering. I mean, when you’re not writing, fly fishing, playing badminton, or chopping wood.

  10. Ray

    Typo alert.
    “Here’s how the try to get away with it.”

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