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You want me to be a what? an Epistemic Researcher

I am taking a course on better writing practices and the courses author said "Your job is to become an Epistemic Researcher."


A what?

a woman surrounded by ideas

Now, I am a fairly well educated and well read person, or so I thought. Then I read that sentence. I do like the course I am taking and the author because he makes me think.


So I paused the course and went down a rabbit hole to understand what an epistemic researcher might be. Here are some the characteristics I found:


  1. Curiosity and Open-mindedness: Epistemic researchers are inherently curious about their field of study and are open to new ideas, perspectives, and approaches. They are willing to explore and question existing knowledge and assumptions.

  2. Critical Thinking: They possess strong critical thinking skills, enabling them to analyze information, identify biases, evaluate sources, and consider different viewpoints critically.

  3. Systematic Approach: They follow a systematic approach to research, employing structured methods to gather and analyze data. This includes designing research studies, collecting data, and applying appropriate analytical techniques.

  4. Scholarly Rigor: Epistemic researchers are committed to scholarly rigor. They ensure that their research is thorough, accurate, and adheres to ethical standards. This involves meticulous documentation, careful analysis, and transparent reporting of their research process and findings.

  5. Innovative Thinking: They are not just consumers of existing knowledge but also contributors to the field. This involves thinking innovatively to develop new theories, models, or approaches.

  6. Interdisciplinary Awareness: Given the complex nature of many research topics, they often have an awareness of and appreciation for interdisciplinary approaches, integrating insights from various fields.

  7. Communication Skills: Effective communication is vital. They must be able to articulate their findings and theories clearly and persuasively, both in writing and verbally.

  8. Collaborative Spirit: Research is often a collaborative effort. Epistemic researchers are able to work well with others, valuing different expertise and perspectives, and contributing to a shared goal.

  9. Persistence and Resilience: Research can be a process filled with challenges and setbacks. Epistemic researchers demonstrate persistence and resilience, staying committed to their inquiry even when faced with obstacles.

  10. Ethical Integrity: They maintain high ethical standards in their research, respecting confidentiality, ensuring the integrity of data, and acknowledging the contributions of others.


Ok, I can get behind that - back to the course.


But before that - do you see yourself in any of the characteristics? If so, which ones?


Bonus: here are 5 notable female philosophers who have made significant contributions to epistemology, the branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and scope of knowledge.


  1. Linda Zagzebski: An American philosopher, Zagzebski has made substantial contributions to epistemology, particularly in the areas of virtue epistemology. Her work often explores the connection between ethics and epistemology, focusing on the role of virtues in knowledge acquisition.

  2. Susan Haack: A British philosopher, Haack is known for her work in the philosophy of logic, metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of science. She developed the doctrine of "foundherentism," which seeks to synthesize foundationalism and coherentism in epistemology.

  3. Miranda Fricker: An English philosopher, Fricker has significantly contributed to social epistemology. She is renowned for her work on epistemic injustice, a concept that explores how individuals can be wronged in their capacity as knowers.

  4. Helen Longino: An American philosopher of science, Longino's work in epistemology focuses on the social dimensions of scientific knowledge. She emphasizes the role of community in shaping scientific knowledge and the importance of diverse perspectives in the knowledge-production process.

  5. Lorraine Code: A Canadian philosopher, Code is known for her work in feminist epistemology. She challenges traditional epistemologies and introduces a gendered perspective, arguing that knowledge is situated and that the knower's context and standpoint significantly influence knowledge.



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