Contradiction Studies

The Truth of Politics. On the Epistemization of the Protests against the German Corona Policy

PD Dr. Ehler Voss (GRK Contradiction Studies)

26.07.2023 17:00 17:30 Uhr

LMU Munich

The diagnosis of an epistemization of the political, according to which political questions in Western democracies would increasingly be negotiated as questions of knowledge, is confirmed also in the debate about the state imposed measures to contain the spread of SARS-CoV-2. This tendency would suggest the possibility of objective decision-making through science and a lack of alternatives in political actions that obscured the values behind the decisions. Accordingly, proponents and opponents of the measures accuse each other of being guided by false knowledge, i.e., of being unscientific and thus incapable of participating in a reasonable discourse, which leads, on the one hand, to fragmented publics through excluding the other side from discourse and, on the other hand, to accusing the other side of strategically hiding their own political goals behind factual discussions and thus impeding or even obstructing democratic decision-making. Based on anthropological fieldwork among critics and supporters of the measures in Germany, this presentation attempts to reconstruct the epistemic and political practices as well as the mutual misrepresentations in this controversy, thereby suggesting at the same time a mediating role that anthropology can play in these and similar controversies.

Panel „The Politics of (Post-)Truth: Knowledge-Making in
Fragmented Worlds of Mis/Trust“ at the conference „Contested Knowledge: Anthropological Perspectives“ of the German Anthropological Association (DGSKA).

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Macht und Widerstand

„Michel Foucault sagt: „Wo es Macht gibt, gibt es Widerstand. Und doch […] liegt dieser Widerstand niemals außerhalb der Macht“ (Geschichte der Sexualität I, Der Wille zum Wissen, 1983 [1976], S. 96)“

Gisela Febel

„Wenn sich gesellschaftliche Widersprüche im Recht widerspiegeln, kann das Recht keine widerspruchsfreie Normhierarchie ausbilden.“

Andreas Fischer-Lescano

„Die fachwissenschaftliche Geographie steht für eine gewisse Erdung der Widerspruchsthematik sowohl in theoretischer als auch in praktischer Hinsicht.“

Julia Lossau

„Widerspruch ist ein wichtiger Motor wissenschaftlicher Praxis und Erkenntnis. Ihn besser zu verstehen kann helfen, unsere Realitätsfähigkeit zu steigern.“

Norman Sieroka
Afterlife of colonialism

“Contradiction comes in many different forms. None is so debilitating than when the coloniser transitions, textually not politically, to decoloniality without taking the responsibility for the afterlife of colonialism, which they continue to benefit from. Self-examination and self-interrogation of the relations of coloniality, a necessity, seem nearly impossible for the coloniser who continues to act as beneficiary, masked in the new-found language of White fragility, devoid of an ethical responsibility of the very system of White domination they claim to be against.” (Black Consciousness and the Politics of the Flesh)

Rozena Maart