On the Virtues and Plausibility of Feminist Epistemologies

In this paper, we examine some issues debated in mainstream epistemology for which the social features of knowledge are relevant, such as the epistemic relevance of social contexts, the nature of practical knowledge, and the epistemic role of testimony. In the first part of the paper, we show how feminist epistemologies have usefully stressed the social character of knowledge in many central areas of debate within mainstream epistemology. We call these the virtues of feminist epistemology: the denial of the neutrality and autonomy of the epistemic subject, the focus on practical knowledge, and the ensuing attention to the social dimensions of the epistemic process. Our conclusion on the social dimensions of knowledge is the thesis that the epistemic subject can know only in connection with others. In the second part of the paper, we address the issue of the plausibility of feminist epistemologies by discussing three main criticisms which have been raised against them. We conclude that, even if these criticisms are valid, the legacy of feminist epistemologies remains because the social features of knowledge are plausibly significant not only within but also without the perspectives of feminist epistemologies.
Keywords epistemic virtues  feminist epistemology  social features of knowledge
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,651
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Louise M. Antony (2000). Situating Feminist Epistemology. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 2000:31-40.
Reza Lahroodi (2007). Collective Epistemic Virtues. Social Epistemology 21 (3):281 – 297.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

25 ( #189,691 of 1,902,709 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

4 ( #219,519 of 1,902,709 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.