How to acknowledge knowledge?

In a knowledge society, different knowledge (e.g. of a natural science, human science, technical science, everyday, religious or esoteric nature) circulates and competes, which must be legitimised within the historical and cultural contexts in order to be recognised as knowledge. 


  • To conduct an exemplary analysis of historical and cultural conditions for legitimation strategies and hierarchization of specific knowledge.
  • To move away from euro-centric knowledge definitions, incorporate in knowledge from oral cultures and identify legitimation strategies for different knowledge stocks in non-European cultures such as China, India, Iran and Latin America.

Project description

The working group concerns itself with the following questions:

  • How are interpretation requirements established and asserted?
  • Which knowledge is marginalised and excluded?
  • Which interests and historical processes motivate the legitimation of specific knowledge definitions?

Past and future activities

  • Interdisciplinary working group colloquia
  • International and interdisciplinary conference 13 th-14 th October 2017 on "Competing knowledges on a global scale"
  • Public lecture series in 2018 on "Competing knowledges on a global scale"
  • Publication in 2019 of a book entitled "Whose Knowledge Matters? Competing Knowledges on a Global Scale"

Critical reflection on the legitimation of claims of validity of a variety of knowledge stocks in light of the global economisation of knowledge and analysis of the mutual dependence of dominant and marginalised knowledge in addition to the problematic nature of hasty intra- and intercultural analogy constructions.

Academy Publication

"Competing Knowledges - Wissen im Widerstreit" (AAWH 9), hrsg. von Anna Margaretha Horatschek.
Also available as a free eBook: Open Access-Download