Knowledge & Praxis

Ka Tat Tsang has always been curious about epistemological questions since his high school days. The first psychology lecture he attended as an undergraduate in 1973, given by the late Erik Kvan of the University of Hong Kong, encouraged him to start thinking about the nature of reality, knowledge, and the language we use to construct knowledge. Erik Kvan started that lecture by asking his students, “Do you believe that the sun will rise in the East tomorrow morning?” That question led to a discussion on Hume’s paradox, Popper’s conjecture and refutation, social construction of reality, the role of language, and other fundamental issues in psychology and the social sciences. To this date, Ka Tat Tsang is still using his teacher’s question to introduce his theory and epistemology classes for his MSW and Ph.D. students.

In his exploration into the question of knowledge, he has wrestled with epistemological issues in the conventional (Euro-American) sense, negotiating the interfaces among positivism, post-positivism, constructivism, critical theories and the many offshoots in post- or neo-colonial discourse analysis, feminism, queer theory, and so on. Born in Hong Kong and having lived in a colonial context made it almost natural for him to question the political economy of knowledge, including its production, legitimization, distribution, utilization, mobilization, consumption, and so forth. He is employed in an institution which is now part of the global knowledge economy, surviving on the mystique that knowledge is power, and that it is a valuable resource that students and/or their families and friends believe is worth investing in.

Here, you will find a few pieces he has produced on the topic of knowledge, and as he has been in different places talking to different people, each time pursuing a different agenda, these pieces do not necessarily look coherent. Now that you’re duly warned, we take that by clicking on the respective links, you understand that this website will not assume any responsibility should you feel confused or dissatisfied. You are nonetheless encouraged to write an email and share your thoughts with us.