Presentation on theme: "Lecture 15 Everyday Knowledge and Science. Everyday knowledge Everyday knowledge - type of knowledge that is experienced in the course of the everyday."— Presentation transcript:
Tim Ingold and Terhi Kurttilas article (2000): Two understandings of knowledge: one in the modernist frameworks of the state apparatus and the other in the everyday life of local people
The aim of the project was to examine the relation between scientific and everyday knowledge of the environment regarding wider issues of global environmental change. How did the environment has changed for Saami inhabitants?
BUT: Environmental scientists and people were talking about two different things. Scientists were out to detect changes in CLIMATE Local people were talking about changes in WEATHER.
Climate – an abstraction which consists of a number of variables (temperature, precipitation, air pressure, wind speed, etc) that are isolated for purposes of measurement. Weather, by contrast, is about what it feels like to be warm or cold, drenched in rain, etc. Climate is recorded, weather is experienced.
Experiences of the weather are closely bound up with personal life-histories: memories of childhood, wartime exploits, etc. The recollection of the weather are contextual.
Weather - tasks of work and modalities of movement and travel. Practical.
Perception of weather is multisensory. It is just as much auditory, tactile and olfactory experience as it is visual. Multisensory awareness of the weather is crucial to spacial orientation
Cycle of the seasons. As a phenomenon of weather, seasonality is not simply registered in annual fluctuations of temperature, precipitation and daylight hours, but in the pattern of rhythmic interrelations of human, animal and plant life.
Thus, everyday knowledge of the environment people inhabit is: Contextual. Essentially practical rather than theoretical. Knowing how rather than knowing that. Multisensory awareness of the weather is crucial to spatial orientation and to the coordination of activity. Personal.
Scientific knowledge as we know it: Scientific knowledge is context-free, everyday knowledge is contextual; Scientific knowledge consists of propositions about how the world works. Science aims to model, or represent, the workings of nature, rather than to beat a path into it. No intimate involvement with the objects of his/her study. By contrast, everyday knowledge is to intensify involvement. Scientific knowledge is impersonal.
But we can argue that: Science is personal. No observation without engagement. Theoretical or practical: where is the line between practice and theory Scientific knowledge is context-dependent, because any form of knowledge must be embedded in the context of a form of life. Science is global not because it transcends the contexts of its production and application, but because it has spread as the result of colonial and neo-colonial imposition.
Local knowledge is not that different from scientific knowledge. Argue against modernist vision of knowledge. Knowledge is local because it is in the heads of local people. But: knowledge is local because it inheres in the activity of inhabiting the land. Modernist vision: traditional knowledge is linked to genealogical model that is passed down from predecessors. But: traditional knowledge is passed through the experience of participation. Modernist view: science and traditional knowledge are opposed. But: the weather is no less real than the climate recorded by scientists. Each knowledge grows out of engagement.
Science itself is a form of a local knowledge: it is both traditional in its mode of reproduction and engendered in the practices of locality. If a distinction has to be drawn at all between scientific and local knowledge, it lies not in the epistemological status of knowledge but in the nature of skilled practices through which it is generated.