The epistemology of the anointed

Aurélien Daudi
Department of Sport Sciences, Malmö University

This article is a philosophical critique of the foundations of postmodernism, the contemporary disciplines that derive from it, and by extension share its philosophical roots, as well as of the scholarly activism it has given rise to. Moralism, postmodernism and political activism – I argue that they are intrinsically linked, all too present in some areas of the social sciences and humanities of today, and that together they form one of the greatest barriers against the search for truth that universities are currently facing. This barrier counteracts rational thinking, obstructs critical argument and debate and promotes ideological and group thinking. Originating from a desire to do good, conspicuously so, it justifies the placing of activistic ambitions ahead of truth and objectively verifiable conditions of reality – the continued discovery of which was the very basis upon which academia was founded. Universities are either unwavering champions of the pursuit of truth and the betterment of knowledge, or activistic institutions furthering particular social agendas. In theory, either alternative is legitimate. They do not, however, appear mutually compatible, and I do not think a university can fulfill both aspirations simultaneously. One will inevitably demand the abdication of the other. In this article I defend what historically has been, and in my view needs to remain, the highest of all university values – the pursuit of truth.

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AURÉLIEN DAUDI is a Ph.D. student at Malmö university. The subject of his research is the domain of photo-based social media, particularly the digital culture surrounding fitness which, through the advent of social media, has grown immensely in popularity and appeal, recruiting into its midst young people from all over the world. He posits a dialectical synergy between fitness as a social practice and the governing values at the heart of social media, leading to the legitimization and promotion of cultural norms utilizing the body as an object of social validation. Viewed through a lens consisting of various philosophical thinkers and perspectives he aims to critically examine from a philosophical perspective the social media culture surrounding fitness and its primary means of expression, seemingly being that of self-promotion through objectification and sexualization. 


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