Meta-Lucidity, “Epistemic Heroes,” and the Everyday Struggle Toward Epistemic Justice

José Medina

in The Epistemology of Resistance

Published in print February 2013 | ISBN: 9780199929023
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199301522 | DOI:

Series: Studies in Feminist Philosophy

Meta-Lucidity, “Epistemic Heroes,” and the Everyday Struggle Toward Epistemic Justice

Show Summary Details


This chapter analyzes a kind of lucidity characteristic of oppressed subjectivities: a meta-lucidity produced by epistemic friction. I address the issue of how to promote this kind of meta-lucidity for differently situated subjects, including those in a position of privilege. I discuss the phenomenon of epistemic heroes—extraordinary subjects who under conditions of epistemic oppression are able to develop epistemic virtues. I argue that epistemic heroes should be understood as emblems: figures who become emblematic because they come to epitomize the daily struggles of resistance of ordinary people. I argue that the transformative impact of performance that we consider heroic is crucially dependent on social networks and daily practices of resistance in which the performance in question is taken up or reenacted (the phenomenon of echoing). I offer two examples of cultural icons of resistance who appear to be “epistemic heroines”: Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz and Rosa Parks.

Keywords: lucidity; epistemic heroes; epistemic courage; activism; performativity; counter-performativity; echoing; social networks; Latina feminism; civil rights movement

Chapter.  32093 words. 

Subjects: Feminist Philosophy

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.