In this article, I seek to engage Xabier Renteria-Uriarte’s contention that social myth of the oppressed people help them to launch struggles to recover or retain their social identity, culture and knowledges against the threats posed by state power holders. Situating his position in the context of the Basque nation that is currently divided between France and Spain, Renteria-Uriarte sees the power that the social myth of ‘The Last Indigenous People of Europe’ that is upheld by the Basque people as defining them to be something that will plausibly help them in their struggles against epistemic oppression. My intervention in this regard is to challenge the power that Xabier Renteria-Uriarte thinks that the social myth in question has in overcoming epistemic oppression of the Basque nation. My main reason for taking this stance is that the state powers holders might also invent their own set of social myths to counter or neutralize those of the dominated people which in the end might jettison their assumed power to overturn epistemic oppression and lead to their independence more broadly conceived. This dimension is neglected in Renteria-Uriarte’s article, and I argue that it needs to be given substantive attention in assessing the promise of social myths of the oppressed people in mounting their struggles. This is meant to ensure that we do not give so much hope to the social myths of the oppressed people in changing their situation yet at the same time ignoring the potential of state power holders to fight back. … [please read below the rest of the article].
Masaka, Dennis. 2023. “A Critical Response to Renteria-Uriarte’s ‘Counteracting Epistemic Oppression through Social Myths’.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 12 (5): 48–57. https://wp.me/p1Bfg0-7Oj.
🔹 The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers.
❧ Renteria-Uriarte, Xabier. 2023. “Counteracting Epistemic Oppression Through Social Myths: The Last Indigenous Peoples of Europe.” Social Epistemology doi: 10.1080/02691728.2022.2153350.
❦ Masaka, Dennis. 2021. “Knowledge, Power, and the Search for Epistemic Liberation in Africa.” Social Epistemology 35 (3): 258-269.
In an insightful article titled ‘Counteracting Epistemic Oppression Through Social Myths: The Last Indigenous Peoples of Europe’ (2023), Xabier Renteria-Uriarte shows how the social myth of ‘The Last Indigenous People of Europe’ could be invoked by the Basque nation to foreground their resistance against epistemic oppression, threats to their self-existence and identity. The ‘Last Indigenous peoples of Europe’ is meant to refer to the people of the Basque country; a country that has the infamy of being torn between France and Spain’s political and cultural control. This makes the Basque country is stateless. The existential threats posed to people of the Basque country, in the form of epistemic oppression and other cultural impositions, impels Renteria-Uriarte to consider the social myth in question; aided by a social movement called the Biltzarre platform and its Basque Cultural Instinct Group, as important in repelling them.
Renteria-Uriarte has so much optimism that the social myth of ‘The Last Indigenous People of Europe’ would prove to be plausible counters to epistemic oppression that the people of the Basque country face in the light of cultural and epistemic intrusions. However, an issue which I consider to be of significant importance that Renteria-Uriarte leaves largely unresolved pertains to an explicit articulation of how the social myth of ‘The Last Indigenous People of Europe’ would pointedly work towards overcoming epistemic oppression. Put differently, reference to the Basque people as ‘The Last Indigenous People of Europe’ may not explicitly help in creating a solid ground to fight off epistemic oppression. For this reason, I consider this aspect to be requiring substantive attention in the struggles that the Basque people face against epistemic and cultural impositions that they currently face.
I begin my response to Renteria-Uriarte’s article by highlighting its major claims. In this connection, I show that he tries to use the social myth of ‘The Last Indigenous People of Europe’ as a means through which the indigenous people of the Basque country could overcome epistemic oppression. In the second section, I question his social myth of ‘The Last Indigenous People of Europe’ in terms of how he deploys it as part of efforts to fight off epistemic oppression; something which I think is in need of further articulation. The point that I raise here is in what ways does the social myth of ‘The Last Indigenous People of Europe’ might be said to counter the lingering problem of epistemic oppression. In the final section, I raise questions about how the perpetrators of epistemic oppression might conceive of these liberation-seeking measures. The idea here is that they might discredit these measures and strengthen their resistance to these liberatory moves through inventing their own set of myths to counter those of the Basque people. Perhaps, these are some of the counteracting measures to the efforts to counteract epistemic oppression that Renteria-Uriarte might need to consider as stalling the quest to attain epistemic liberation for the Basque nation.
Renteria-Uriarte rightly raises the unenviable situation whereby the social myths invented by the state power holders in the Basque nation celebrate their own myths but degrade and repudiate those of the Basque people thereby putting to question their liberatory credentials along the way (2023, 10). With this in mind, it might be important to show what the aggrieved people of the Basque nation might need to do in order to effectively counter not only expressed doubts about the social power of their social myths as counteracting measures to foreground struggles for retention of their identity and epistemic independence, but also possible instances of resistance from the state power holders.
Renteria-Uriarte on Social Myths as Counters to Epistemic Oppression
In this work, a stateless nation namely the Basque country, is presented as suffering from cultural and epistemic oppression posed by France and Spain who currently partition it among themselves. In response to this unenviable situation, Renteria-Uriarte considers the social myth of ‘The Last Indigenous People of Europe’ and a modern social movement as disposed to fight off cultural and epistemic oppression that the people of the Basque country are currently facing at the hands of France and Spain who have partitioned the country among themselves. The social myth that the author has in mind is that the Basque people are ‘The Last indigenous people of Europe’. This social myth is aided by a social movement, the Biltzarre platform and its Basque Cultural Instinct group in its struggles against cultural and epistemic oppression. Besides the social myth of being ‘The Last Indigenous People of Europe’, there are complementary social myths such as ‘First settlers’ and ‘(one of) the First Language(s) of the humankind’ that are said to be present in the Basque nation (Renteria-Uriarte 2023, 10).
All these social myths help in countering French and Spanish-driven cultural and epistemic oppression that saddle the Basque people. Despite the power that is appropriated to social myths in resisting cultural and epistemic oppression, Renteria-Uriarte notes that they are seriously disregarded as lacking in scientific orientation by those who have state powers over the Basque nation (2023, 5). Such as a denial of the promise that social myths have in the struggles against cultural and epistemic oppression is taken by Renteria-Uriarte to be a consequence of epistemic injustice; something that he considers to be more pronounced between what he terms ‘political states’ and ‘ethnic-national groups or peoples’ that resist the power and control of the former.
As a consequence of cultural and epistemic oppression; the cultural, ethnic and nation-people status of the Basque people are denied by the French and Spanish powers (Renteria-Uriarte 2023, 6). However, Renteria-Uriarte reports that efforts by the French and Spanish to implant their identities on the Basque people, have been met with resistance. In the end, some of the Basques have been able to notably retain their identity and political sovereignty through a variety of struggles including an armed group (2023, 6). However, while Renteria-Uriarte argues that the Basque people are successfully repelling threats to their identity, he also claims that ‘an epistemicide of Basque culture by French and Spanish states is occurring’ leading to the recurring Basque problem known as zapalketa (oppression) (2023, 6).
A standout position that Renteria-Uriarte makes is that the social myth of ‘The Last Indigenous People of Europe’ is useful in the struggles against cultural and epistemic oppression by the Basque people. This means that the invention of the social myth of the ‘Last Indigenous People of Europe’ and belief in its power to institute a serious challenge to oppression is a necessary step in a bid for the conquered people to retain their identity and their knowledges. It is in this light that Renteria-Uriarte’s assertion that ‘in any case, a people will not survive if they do not react and innovate in the face of adversity, and this has been the case with Basques’(Renteria-Uriarte 2023, 6) could best be understood.
As I see it, the critical issue for Renteria-Uriarte is to prove that indeed the social myth of ‘The Last indigenous People of Europe’ and related ones work effectively in order to retain self-identity and epistemic independence. Whether these myths are false or true is not an issue as the focus is on their credentials to attain the objectives of the conquered peoples for which they are constructed. However, Renteria-Uriarte bemoans the tendency by the powers controlling state structures in the Basque country for disparaging social myths of the Basque nation while glorifying their own social myths (2023, 10). To this he has this to say: ‘the social myths of minority collectivities and stateless nations are often seen outright as ‘false myths’, while the social myths of politically and culturally powerful collectivities and nations are simply embedded in daily narratives, as in what has been called “the imperial myths”’ (2023, 9). This is a form of injustice that maligns epistemic independence of the Basque people through contentious disqualification of the agency of their social myths in disrupting cultural and epistemic oppression. Yet, Renteria-Uriarte believes that the social myth ‘may help strengthen identity, self-reliance and courage to face any epistemic injustice, opprobrium and condemnation’ (2023, 9). Indeed, it ‘will not directly change the epistemic structures of a political state but, for the epistemically oppressed, it is valid for an understanding of the remains of their culture and for an emotional defence.
Such need of knowledge understanding, emotional peace and self-esteem, in times of epistemic turmoil, would explain the social myths of the oppressed’ (Renteria-Uriarte 2023, 9). While those of a prejudicial disposition or those who, on the basis of science, mark social myths as dubious, they however remains very much part of the conquered people such as the Basque people, and their utility is highly acknowledged from within these spaces.
The vilification of the social myths of some nations and the foisting of those of others has something to do with power politics. In the overall scheme of things, the objective is to keep the conquered peoples in perpetual imposed silence especially on the epistemic front, and privileging the epistemologies of the dominant people (Graness 2015, 78-85). It is instructive that Renteria-Uriarte highlights the predicament of the Basque people in their efforts to assert their right to self-define themselves against the lingering dominant narrative of state power holders as follows:
… [T]hat the benevolence for some interpretations versus the virulence for others comes from whether or not they align with the vision of the dominant group in the nation-state is hardly debatable. In this case, it is hard to see Spanish people having some epistemic problem with the myth of ‘the Reconquest’ (against Arabian people), or the French people having conflict with the myth of ‘the French Revolution’ (as a paradigm of democracy), but national minorities in their states continuously face mass media opinions and scholarly analyses against their historical views (2023, 10).
But then this ought not to dampen the agency of those who are maligned by those who are beneficiaries of power politics. The conquered people need to assert themselves and stand by what they think helps to retain their identity and contribute to knowledge production. I consider this to be the spirit behind Renteria-Uriarte’s claim that, against low-grade perception of the social myth of the Basque nation as counteracting strategy to epistemic oppression, the Basque people have retained faith in its utility and continue to use it to foreground their knowledge projects and struggles for epistemic independence. It is for this reason that ‘those who feel themselves under some form of epistemic injustice should be free to create their own ways of knowing and social myths, just as those who maintain their ways and myths without being aware’ (Renteria-Uriarte 2023, 10).
With laboring over whether social myths are true or false or a science out of the way, Renteria-Uriarte (2023, 10) invites us to focus on the potential they have in counteracting epistemic oppression and injustice as psychological instruments that energise the oppressed to work towards retaining faith in their own ways of knowing and engage in struggles against epistemic oppression more particularly. As Renteria-Uriarte sums up, ‘a social myth is the epistemic weapon of the oppressed’ (2023, 10). On the reason why he calls it a ‘weapon’, he has this to say: ‘it can be called ‘the’ weapon (not ‘a’ weapon amongst many more) because the oppressed often have no more counteraction tools, since epistemic oppression almost always goes hand in hand with other social oppressions, and other instruments of counteraction are cautiously excluded’ (Renteria-Uriarte 2023, 11). Social myths are mechanism of resistance and ‘with their self-affirming power, [social myths] should always be among the tools of a people to defend their future from the past, and it might be proposed that a society without social myths is, in one way or another, hopeless and in its last breaths of life’ (Renteria-Uriarte 2023, 11-12).
Social Myths as Counters to Epistemic Oppression: A Critique
In this section, I question Renteria-Uriarte’s notion of social myth in terms of how he deploys it as part of efforts to fight off epistemic oppression; something which needs to be substantively defended. The point that I raise here is that it seems unclear how the myth of ‘The Last Indigenous People of Europe’ could stand as an effective means of countering the lingering problem of epistemic oppression in the Basque country. While I am in agreement with Renteria-Uriarte that there is need to devise means of fighting off epistemic oppression, I am not completely convinced whether, on balance of scale, the social myth in question could be an effective way to do so.
One might be tempted to think that facing head-on the very problem of epistemic oppression and injustice is a compelling way to take. This might involve directly confronting and disrupting the pillars of epistemic oppression in the Basque nation in order to work towards attainment of epistemic independence. But Renteria-Uriarte is quite explicit that his intention is to confine his argument to the social myth as a psychological tool to fight off cultural and epistemic oppression (2023, 11). With this in mind, much of this section is consumed with debating the pedigree of the social myth of ‘The Last Indigenous People of Europe’ as promising disrupter of epistemic oppression as Renteria-Uriarte aptly posits.
At first go, I agree with Renteria-Uriarte that epistemologies of the dominant cultures have over the years been used to institute social oppression, and the Basque nation is no exception (2023, 1). However, I stand to question the power that he sees as residing in social myth that can in turn be invoked to mount a serious struggle against cultural and epistemic oppression. I consider this to be an issue that he neglects to give substantive attention in terms of what it explicitly offers to challenge of cultural and epistemic oppression facing the Basque nation. At the end of it all, the merits of his position might come down to whether the social myth of ‘The Last Indigenous People of Europe’ offers enough traction to counteract cultural and epistemic oppression. One might then argue that while the expected outcome of the social myth of ‘The Last Indigenous People of Europe’ in the form of retention of social identity and epistemic independence is explicit, the same may not be said of its operational possibilities.
Note that, for Renteria-Uriarte, ‘a social myth will presumably not work in scholar science beyond an ideal type, or will not directly change the epistemic structures of a political state but, for the epistemically oppressed, it is valid for an understanding of the remains of their culture and for an emotional defence’ (2023, 9). What is of interest here is that Renteria-Uriarte admits that the social myth of ‘The Last Indigenous People of Europe’ does not seem to have the wherewithal to transform ‘the epistemic structures of a political state’. Yet, he retains confidence in its abilities to counteract cultural and epistemic oppression. I think that part of the reason why epistemic oppression had endured wherever it has been instituted upon certain nations is that it establishes its tentacles deeply and expansively such that it requires strong effort to overturn it (see Masaka 2021).
Now if the social myth in question does not ‘directly’ challenge the epistemic structures that are established by a political state (Renteria-Uriarte 2023, 9), can it be effective enough then to disrupt them and occasion a transformative turn that is necessary for the epistemic independence of the conquered people? This is an issue that I suppose Renteria-Uriarte could have given substantive attention to in order to gauge how the social myth of ‘The Last Indigenous People of Europe’ might fare in fighting off cultural and epistemic oppression in the Basque country, and indeed in spaces facing similar challenges. To conceive social myth as ‘valid for an understanding of the remains of their culture and for an emotional defence’ (Renteria-Uriarte 2023, 9) might not be enough if the objective is to deploy it to disrupt deep-seated markers of cultural and epistemic oppression and in turn create a terrain amenable to the flourishing of cultures, social identities and epistemes of the dominated people. I am not sure if this is what Renteria-Uriarte wants to be the goal of the social myth of ‘The Last Indigenous People of Europe’. Otherwise, it will leave the social myth in question essentially a weak basis for claiming social identity and epistemic independence for conquered peoples.
I am not sure if this is what Renteria-Uriarte wants to be the goal of the social myth of ‘The Last Indigenous People of Europe’. Otherwise, it will leave the social myth essentially a weak basis for claiming social identity and epistemic independence for conquered peoples. This means that social myths so conceived will not be genuinely decisive in challenging the status quo of oppression more broadly. As a result, the architecture of oppression will remain largely unchallenged; though the conquered people might convince themselves that they have what it takes to defend themselves against cultural and epistemic onslaught from state power holders. But at the same time, one has to note that in understanding that ‘social myth is the epistemic weapon of the oppressed’ Renteria-Uriarte (2023, 11) excludes other instruments to confront epistemic oppression when he has this to say about social myth: ‘it can be called ‘the’ weapon (not ‘a’ weapon amongst many more) because the oppressed often have no more counteraction tools, since epistemic oppression almost always goes hand in hand with other social oppressions, and other instruments of counteraction are cautiously excluded’ (2023, 11).
Since Renteria-Uriarte strategically excludes other instruments to counteract epistemic oppression choosing instead to focus only the social myth of ‘The Last Indigenous People of Europe’, one can still question its power to dismantle the narratives of the state power holders that place them in a position of domination over the conquered people. It is also important to note that state power holders might also have their own set of social myths that validate their dominance over the conquered peoples. And often times, these social myths of state power holders are backed up by other tools of oppression in order to effectively dominate the conquered people, which in the end makes it overturning cultural and epistemic oppression a tantalising possibility.
The second point that I want to make pertains to resistance to the social myth’s counteracting power from the state power holders. One might be interested in knowing how the conquered people will possibly deal with the issue of low opinion of the power of social myth of ‘The Last Indigenous People of Europe’ by those in control of the state to counteract epistemic oppression. Renteria-Uriarte rightly notes that the power holders might object to the social myth’s usefulness to improve their situation in terms of retention of their social identity and flourishing of their knowledges. In this connection, ‘the social myths of minority cultures may provoke frequent disdain (from cultures with powers)’ (Renteria-Uriarte 2023, 10).
The lowly view of the usefulness of social myths is indicative of power politics that favour the interests of the state power holders and trash those of the conquered people. The rejection of the power of social myths in foregrounding and energizing the conquered people’s struggles to transform their situation is something that worries Renteria-Uriarte. However, one might argue that similar doubts that state power holders have over the utility of social myths of the conquered people can be extended to their knowledges that are grounded on these myths. This is a source of worry that perhaps ought to have concerned Renteria-Uriarte more especially in judging the promise of social myths as a means to overturn cultural and epistemic oppression at the hands of France and Spain.
Renteria-Uriarte reckons that social myths are found in a number of cultures: ‘‘Last Indigenous people’, ‘First Settlers’ or ‘(one of) the First Language(s) of the humankind’ make up a kind of social myth spread in many peoples around the world’ (2023, 4). Yet, some of these cultures have endured cultural and epistemic oppression for years. One would expect the aggrieved cultures to invest confidence in their social myths in order to overcome cultural and epistemic oppression. That cultural and epistemic oppression endures in cultures that have for a considerable time believed that social myths can counteract them might mean something about their capacity to effectively attain their intended goals. So the question that comes to mind is: do social myths present a formidable counteraction to cultural and epistemic oppression besides engendering a psychological spirit of resistance in the conquered people? I am not convinced that on their own they do, at least from my reading of Renteria-Uriarte article.
In the light of my doubts about the pedigree of social myths as the sole basis of countering cultural and epistemic oppression in the Basque country more particularly, it might be necessary to consider what other options might offer in search for the elusive cultural and epistemic independence. In other words, what could be of interest is to consider how other possible responses to cultural and epistemic oppression of the Basque people compare to social myth. The point is that there might be something that the social myth of ‘The Last Indigenous People of Europe’ offers perhaps which other possible responses may lack. With this in mind, one might expect Renteria-Uriarte to explicitly outline reasons why the social myth in question is taken as a more attractive response to cultural and epistemic oppression compared to other possible alternative responses. To such an interlocutor, Renteria-Uriarte has this to say: ‘should social myth be considered more or less powerful than other types of responses to epistemic oppressions?
The literature on such defences does not seem to be developed enough to answer the question, but the most sensible forethought would be to anticipate that it depends on the case’ (Renteria-Uriarte 2023, 11). He proceeds to state that ‘in the Basque case, for example, the popular movement of Ikastolas (Basque schools) that started in the 1970s or a popular coordination network for Basque language learning and literacy have been considered fundamental as the first step to defend the national knowledge’ (Renteria-Uriarte 2023, 11). However, I maintain that it is still necessary to possibly show why it is a preferred means to attain the envisioned goal of recovering the social identity and knowledges of the Basque nation. The assumption here is that there are other means through which epistemic oppression might be overcome but social myth stand out perhaps as the most compelling. However as I argue, the social myth of ‘The Last Indigenous People of Europe’ ought to be most compelling not only on its own merits, but also in terms of how it possibly compares to other options that might be considered.
Overall, I do not think that singling out the social myth in question as having credentials to successfully repel cultural and epistemic oppression of the Basque nation might convince some objectors. I reiterate that if social myths have been part of some cultures that are living under cultural and epistemic oppression presently but have not been able to significantly overcome it, it might be reason to rethink what might be a more compelling strategy. I think that a combination of strategies might help in effectively counteracting epistemic oppression in the Basque nation, and other nations facing similar challenges. This is despite that Renteria-Uriarte confines his argument to the social myth of ‘The Last Indigenous People of Europe’.
Rejoinder: Counters to Counteracting Measures against Epistemic Oppression
Another issue that I consider to be largely neglected in Renteria-Uriarte’s appeal to social myth as a counteracting measure against epistemic oppression is the possibility of state power holders devising counters to the conquered people’s efforts such that they remain in a situation of conquest regarding social identity, culture and knowledge. In other words, one can imagine how state power holders may react to liberation-seeking measures contained in the social myth of the ‘The Last Indigenous People of Europe’. While Renteria-Uriarte reckons the tendency for state power holders to simply trash the social myth of the Basque nation, and perhaps all what it stands for, it might also be necessary to imagine the possibility of the former creating their own myths that justify their imposition of a social identity and knowledge on the conquered people. This is a strand of thinking that I would like to think that Renteria-Uriarte might as well consider as a possible counter to the counteracting stance of the social myth of the Basque nation. In this section, I discuss such a possibility, with the hope of illuminating more debate on the merits of counteracting epistemic oppression using the social myth of ‘The Last Indigenous People of Europe’.
One possibility that might stand in the way of the promise of the social myth in question to overcome epistemic oppression could be moves by the state power holders to invent counter myths to those of the conquered people. I argue that these social myths might allow them to dig-in and ensure that they continue to suppress cultures and knowledges of the targeted nations, which in this case is the Basque nation. These social myths may take various forms but overall their key purpose is retaining the state power holders’ dominance over the oppressed people. Conquest of nations is usually based on myths such as: ‘we are culturally superior’; ‘we are more civilised’; ‘we are the only rational people’; and ‘we deserve to conquer’. I would not want to think that these social myths have dissipated with the passage of time; they still very much define relations between state power holders and conquered nations. With this in mind, one might actually argue that the belligerent contest of social myths among nations is not a recent phenomenon. It has since the inception of interactions among nations or peoples; defined how they relate in ways that produce power politics. At the end of the day, it might then come down to whose social myths overpower the other. Social myths mainly provide motivation for action or what Renteria-Uriarte calls a ‘psychological tool’ (2023, 11). This would then mean that there is need for a raft of measures and actions for social myths holders to attain their goals. In this light, the success of social myths of the conquered people in motivating action would largely depend on those additional tools, which it seems Renteria-Uriarte is not interested in in the article I am critiquing. As I see it, the social myths of state power holders and follow-up actions that underpin these social myths seem to provide a serious counter to counteracting measures that the social myths of dominated nations might offer. In this light, I am not entirely sure how the social myths of the state power holders can be overcome by those of the conquered nations given that the former may not relent in defending and justifying their social myths of the right to conquer for example. Perhaps, this is an issue that needs more attention in terms of how, if at all it is attainable, the social myths of the conquered people could possibly overturn those of the state power holders, and in the process enable the conquered people to retain their social identity, culture and knowledge tradition.
In trying to defend the promise that the social myth of the Basque nation may have in overturning cultural and epistemic oppression as Renteria-Uriarte does, it is also important to note that dominance once attained is something that cannot be easily surrendered. This might mean the state power holders (France and Spain in this case) might do whatever it takes to ensure that they remain in a dominant position. They may do so through ensuring that the social myths of the conquered people are perhaps disinvested of their transformational power by countering them with their own set of social myths. As a result, they will remain largely inconsequential in the broader scheme of change-making in spaces that are saddled with cultural and epistemic oppression. The resistance by state power holders against what the social myth of the Basque nation could do to improve their situation might be a telling reminder of what the former are prepared to summon in order to retain their positions of privilege. As Renteria-Uriarte tellingly notes, the social myth of the dominated people are always under threat of erasure from state power holders (2023, 10). It also becomes necessary for the aggrieved peoples or nations to anticipate reactions to their attempts to shrug-off and overturn epistemic oppression and create spaces for the flourishing of their culture, social identity and knowledges. The point here is that whilst the conquered people might be devising means to break off from the yoke of conquest through social myths, state power holders may also be strategizing on how to counter such progressive moves by the former. What needs to be explicitly articulated is how such an imaginary stalemate might possibly be broken especially on the part of the conquered people so that they in the main live by their own cultural resources and knowledges as the Basque nation aspire to do, and other conquered people across the world.
In concluding this response to Renteria-Uriarte, it is important to appreciate the role that the social myth of ‘The Last Indigenous People of Europe’ might play in grounding the oppressed people’s struggles for social identity, retention of their culture and the flourishing of their knowledges in an envisioned non-constraining space. This is something that Renteria-Uriarte has attempted to do in light of the plight of the Basque nation. However, it is also important for him to take note of the possibility that the state power holders may counter the counteracting power of the social myth of the Basque nation in particular by inventing their own set of myths that might neutralise or overpower them. I argue that this is something that might not be avoided in assessing the promise of social myths in overturning epistemic and other social oppressions and create conditions for epistemic independence.
Dennis Masaka, email@example.com, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Great Zimbabwe University, Masvingo, Zimbabwe; Department of Philosophy, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa.
Granes, Anke. 2015. “Questions of Canon formation in Philosophy: The History of Philosophy in Africa.” Phronimon 16 (2): 78-96.
Masaka, Dennis. 2021. “Knowledge, Power, and the Search for Epistemic Liberation in Africa.” Social Epistemology 35 (3): 258-269.
Renteria-Uriarte, Xabier. 2023. “Counteracting Epistemic Oppression Through Social Myths: The Last Indigenous Peoples of Europe.” Social Epistemology doi: 10.1080/02691728.2022.2153350.
Categories: Critical Replies