Anthony Magnabosco does “Street Epistemology,” which was a method of Socratic questioning and dialogue invented by Peter Bogossian in his controversial book A Manual for Creating Atheists (2013). In Street Epistemology, the street epistemologist has a Socratic-style conversation that targets how people came to hold their beliefs rather than targeting the beliefs themselves. This is a highly effective means of having a dialogue across divides and differences, even in deeply entrenched beliefs like religious and political adherence (for more depth on this method, see Peter’s more recent book with New Discourses founder James Lindsay, How to Have Impossible Conversations (2019)).
Recently, Anthony loaded a conversation (part 1, part 2) with someone named Vanessa who presented the belief equity, in the Critical Social Justice sense, and wanted to discuss it by using epistemic justice as a way to understand it. Their conversation then focused upon epistemic justice and much else that is relevant to the Critical Social Justice mindset, especially about knowledge and power. It’s a very compelling watch, as Anthony is very capable at revealing the weakness of this way of thinking, which ultimately derives from the postmodern philosophy of French Theorist Michel Foucault. Indeed, it’s one of the best examples of Foucauldian thinking in a young, contemporary activist that one could find.
Anthony Magnabosco isn’t the only street epistemologist out there who doesn’t just do street epistemology but also makes videos of his conversations and shares them on YouTube (check out Anthony’s channel here). Reid Nicewonder is another street epistemologist who does the same thing on the Cordial Curiosity channel.
Reid recently invited James Lindsay to sit down and watch Anthony’s interview with Vanessa and to comment upon it in real time, elaborating in detail on how the Critical Social Justice mindset appears in Vanessa’s thinking and what it gets right and wrong. It’s a long but informative watch that can help you learn to understand the CSJ mindset not just as it appears in Theory and in articles, but also how it occurs in someone who really believes it.