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What is Cognitive Justice

Handbook of Research on Theoretical Perspectives on Indigenous Knowledge Systems in Developing Countries
The right of multiple forms of knowledge to co-exist. This plurality recognises the diversity of knowledges not only as methods, but as ways of life ( Visvanathan, 2009 ).
Published in Chapter:
Multiple Voices, Multiple Paths: Towards Dialogue between Western and Indigenous Medical Knowledge Systems
Rutendo Ngara (University of South Africa, South Africa)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0833-5.ch015
The Western knowledge paradigm – with its ways of knowing, ways of seeing and its notions of reality - has dominated the global knowledge arena, rendering many indigenous knowledge systems as invalid, illegitimate and irrelevant. This is particularly true for indigenous medical knowledge systems, which have struggled to articulate their voices from the marginalisation imposed by colonialism, globalisation and modernity. This chapter outlines paradigmatic tenets and key conceptions underpinning Western Biomedicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Traditional African Medicine. It explores areas of synergy and contradiction, as well as points for potential dialogue between the medical systems. The chapter suggests that if carefully excavated, explorations into such ontologies and epistemologies can make meaningful contributions to knowledge brokerage, thus promoting inclusivity and ethics in knowledge societies. It therefore makes a case for cognitive justice – ‘the right of different traditions of knowledge to co-exist without duress'.
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