Università degli studi di Roma Tre
Abstract: This essay aims to portray and criticize the ideologic background that encompasses some current ways of thinking and, specifically, debating, that we can see spread among the public discourse. These modalities refer to the concept of neutrality. We want to represent a particular way of describing, thinking, and justifying the knowledge through a broad conception of neutrality: neutrality of the source – which can be a person or pieces of evidence; neutrality of the intentions – knowledge does not take sides, thus the supposed neutrality of the knowledge itself. The ideological form that emerges from this concept is rooted in the epistemological and gnoseological domains and impacts the individual, social and political ones, causing repercussions on the dialogical practices of the public discourse. In this issue, we argue that the political and social use of the concept stripped it of its practical and processual fundamental purpose, bringing it to an ahistorical place in which what is true or just are determined. Consequently, the complexity and situated nature of knowledge became oblivious, allowing a form of domination of the discourse that enables maintaining the biases of common sense and preserving old authoritarian ways of thinking and spreading knowledge.
Keywords: Epistemic authority; Ideology; Neutrality; Knowledge; Public discourse