Wikipedia and Liberation

I was searching for something earlier and I came across a paper by Rubén Rosario Rodríguez entitled “Liberating Epistemology: Wikipedia and the Social Construction of Knowledge,” RST 26/2 (2007): 173-201.  I haven’t read the paper yet but the abstract was interesting.  Here’s what it says:

This investigation contends that postfoundationalist models of rationality provide a constructive alternative to the positivist models of scientific rationality that once dominated academic discourse and still shape popular views on science and religion. Wikipedia, a free online encyclopedia, has evolved organically into a cross-cultural, cross-contextual, interdisciplinary conversation that can help liberate epistemology—especially theological epistemology—from the stronghold of Enlightenment foundationalism. U.S. Latinola theology provides an alternative to the dominant epistemological perspective within academic theology that is in many ways analogous to the organic, conversational epistemology embodied by the Wikipedia online community. Accordingly, this investigation argues that the work of human liberation is better served by liberating epistemology from the more authoritarian aspects of the Enlightenment scientific tradition—especially popular positivist conceptions of rationality.

Who would have ever thought of Wikipedia as a liberator?  If I decide to read the entire thing I’ll let you know what I think.

B”H

5 thoughts on “Wikipedia and Liberation

  1. Nick I tried to get it but in the UK it costs £12 to read it I think reading from the Abstract is that Wikipedia allows other methodolgies to be presented that challenge the hegemony of Enlightenment rationality it sees this as a good in that Wikipedia is much more organic and allows a greater freedom of expression to be articulated. An analogy could be that what happened to Peter Enns would not have happened if the College was using the Wikipedia model of thinking

  2. Andrew: If you want to read it I could send you a copy. I still haven’t looked at anything past the abstract. Too much other stuff to read right now.

  3. “conversational epistemology embodied by the Wikipedia online community”

    “the work of human liberation is better served by liberating epistemology from the more authoritarian aspects of the Enlightenment scientific tradition—especially popular positivist conceptions of rationality.”

    Huh? Is this person for real? The Enlightenment scientific tradition has been keeping me in bondage and Wikipedia is going to help liberate me? Wow!!

    : )

    Bryan L

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