Feminist perspectives have been increasingly influential on philosophy of science. Feminism and Philosophy of Science is designed to introduce the newcomer to the central themes, issues and arguments of this burgeoning area of study. Elizabeth Potter engages in a rigorous and well-organized study that takes in the views of key feminist theorists - Nelson, Wylie, Anderson, Longino and Harding - whose arguments exemplify contemporary feminist philosophy of science. The book is divided into six chapters looking at (...) important themes: naturalized feminist empiricism feminist value theory feminist conceptual empiricism standpoint epistemologies of science value-free science Arranged thematically, F eminism and Philosophy of Science looks at the spectrum of views that have arisen in the debate, and unpicks the arguments on key topics such as value-free science, values, objectivity, point of view and relativism. It assumes no previous knowledge of the subject, and is written in an accessible, student-friendly style. It will be an important read for students of philosophy, philosophy of science, gender studies and feminist studies. (shrink)
Feminist philosophy of science has been criticized on several counts. On the one hand, it is claimed that it results in relativism of the worst sort since the political commitment to feminism is prima facie incompatible with scientific objectivity. On the other hand, when critics acknowledge that there may be some value in work that feminists have done, they comment that there is nothing particularly feminist about their accounts. I argue that both criticisms can be addressed through a (...) better understanding of the current work in feminist epistemology. I offer an examination of standpoint theory as an illustration. Harding and Wylie have suggested ways in which the objectivity question can be addressed. These two accounts, together with a third approach, ‘model-based objectivity’, indicate there is a clear sense in which we can understand how standpoint theory both contributes to a better understanding of scientific knowledge and can provide a feminist epistemology. (shrink)
(Series copy) The new Oxford Readings in Feminism series maps the dramatic influence of feminist theory on every branch of academic knowledge. Offering feminist perspectives on disciplines from history to science, each book assembles the most important articles written on its field in the last ten to fifteen years. Old stereotypes are challenged and traditional attitudes upset in these lively-- and sometimes controversial--volumes, all of which are edited by feminists prominent in their particular field. Comprehensive, accessible, and intellectually (...) daring, the Oxford Readings in Feminism series is vital reading for anyone interested in the effects of feminist ideas within the academy. Can science be gender-neutral? In recent years, feminist critics have raised troubling questions about the practice and goals of traditional science, demonstrating the existence of a pervasive bias in the ways in which scientists conduct and discuss their work. This exciting volume gathers seventeen essays--by sociologists, scientists, historians, and philosophers--of seminal significance in the emerging field of feminist science studies. Analyzing topics from the stereotype of the "Man of Reason" to the "romantic" language of reproductive biology, these fascinating essays challenge readers to take a fresh look at the limitations--and possibilities--of scientific knowledge. (shrink)
This collection of essays, first published two decades ago, presents central feminist critiques and analyses of natural and social sciences and their philosophies. Unfortunately, in spite of the brilliant body of research and scholarship in these fields in subsequent decades, the insights of these essays remain as timely now as they were then: philosophy and the sciences still presume kinds of social innocence to which they are not entitled. The essays focus on Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hobbes, Rousseau, and Marx; on (...) the 'adversary method' model of philosophic reasoning; on principles of individuation on philosophical ontology and philosophy of language; on individualistic assumptions in psychology; functionalism in sociological and biological theory; evolutionary theory; the methodology of political science; and conceptions of objective inquiry in the sciences. In taking insights of both Liberal and Marxian women's movements into the purportedly most abstract and value-free areas of Western thought, these essays chart sexist and androcentric assumptions, claims and practices in the cognitive, technical cores of Western sciences and their philosophies. They begin to identify the distinctive aspects of women's experiences and locations in male-supremacist social structures which can provide resources needed for the creation of post-androcentric thinking in research, scholarship, and public policy. Such uses of feminist insights remain controversial today, and even among some feminists. These authors were all junior researchers and scholars two decades ago; today many are among the most distinguished senior scholars in their fields. Their work here provides a splendid opportunity for upper-level undergraduate and graduate students in philosophy and the social sciences to explore some of the most intriguing and controversial challenges to disciplinary projects and to public policy today. (shrink)
We offer a critical analysis of the science and politics of global climate change from a feminist pragmatist perspective, with special attention to the interactions between science and policy. We find the current state of play in all three areas (science, policy, and the space of interaction between them) to be lacking. We attribute mutual responsibility for the current impasse in addressing the climate crisis. What is called for is an alternative framework for thinking about science (...) and policy interactions, which we sketch in general and in application to the increasingly serious problem of global climate change. (shrink)
During the scientific revolution reductionism and mechanism were introduced together. These concepts remained intertwined through much of the ensuing history of philosophy and science, resulting in the privileging of approaches to research that focus on the smallest bits of nature. This combination of concepts has been the object of intense feminist criticism, as it encourages biological determinism, narrows researchers’ choices of problems and methods, and allows researchers to ignore the contextual features of the phenomena they investigate. I argue (...) that the historical link between mechanism and reductionism is not a necessary one, that this link should be severed, and in many cases has already been severed. Teasing reductionism away from mechanism allows us to hold onto the mechanistic view that science should explain how things work, without mandating methods and approaches that reduce the objects of scientific investigation to their smallest parts. Mechanism without reductionism decenters reductive methods, and so creates intellectual space for a plurality of methods that may engage the world at a variety of levels of organization. This ensuing pluralism opens the door for a wide variety of approaches to research, including feminist and gender-sensitive science. (shrink)
If feminists argue for the irreducibility of the social dimensions of science, then they ought to embrace the idea that feminist and non-feminist scientists are not in collaboration, but in fact defend different interests. Instead, however, contemporary feminist science studies literature argues that feminist research improves particular, existing scientific enterprises, both epistemically (truer claims) and politically (more democratic methodologies and applications). I argue that the concepts of empirical success and democracy at work in this literature from Longino (1994) (...) and Harding (1996), to Longino (2002), Gilbert and Rader (2001), and Keller (2001) are not sufficiently critical, and fail to do justice to the truly revolutionary work done by feminist scientists. I offer the beginnings of an epistemology of dissensus (as opposed to consensus), using the work of Haraway (1978), Lyotard (1984), and Ziarek (2001). How would such an epistemology relate to feminist discussions of the possibility of democratic, responsible knowledge? (shrink)
I argue against the assumption that the influence of non-cognitive values must lead to bad science and against the methodological norm that seems to some philosophers to follow from it, viz. that a good philosophy of science should analyze the morally and politically neutral production of good science. Against these, I argue for the assumption that non-cognitive values are compatible with good science and for the metaphilosophical norm that a good philosophy of science should allow (...) us to see whether and how non-cognitive values influence good science. In pursuit of one of its scandalous goals, viz. determining whether and when gender politics influence good scientific work, feminist philosophy of science is well served by this methodological norm. (shrink)
This paper deals with two questions. First, if all scientists were perfect Popperians, how much influence could their background values and experiences have? It is argued that background can play a role in problem choice and in the constructing and testing of hypotheses. Second, do the ideals of feminism suggest the need for a new methodology and epistemology for science? In answering this question, Harding's paper in this volume is discussed.
Feminist writers argue that values permeate science. Using Ernan McMullin's discussion of values in science as a guide, the feminist position is accepted and an attempt is made to show why their position is one which should be noted by conventional philosophers of science.
Feminist epistemology and philosophy of science studies the ways in which gender does and ought to influence our conceptions of knowledge, the knowing subject, and practices of inquiry and justification. It identifies ways in which dominant conceptions and practices of knowledge attribution, acquisition, and justification systematically disadvantage women and other subordinated groups, and strives to reform these conceptions and practices so that they serve the interests of these groups. Various practitioners of feminist epistemology and philosophy of science argue (...) that dominant knowledge practices disadvantage women by (1) excluding them from inquiry, (2) denying them epistemic authority, (3) denigrating their “feminine” cognitive styles and modes of knowledge, (4) producing theories of women that represent them as inferior, deviant, or significant only in the ways they serve male interests, (5) producing theories of social phenomena that render women's activities and interests, or gendered power relations, invisible, and (6) producing knowledge (science and technology) that is not useful for people in subordinate positions, or that reinforces gender and other social hierarchies. Feminist epistemologists trace these failures to flawed conceptions of knowledge, knowers, objectivity, and scientific methodology. They offer diverse accounts of how to overcome these failures. They also aim to (1) explain why the entry of women and feminist scholars into different academic disciplines, especially in biology and the social sciences, has generated new questions, theories, and methods, (2) show how gender has played a.. (shrink)
: This paper investigates the mutual embeddedness of "nature" and "culture," as well as the intersections between race, gender, and sexuality, in the story of the HeLa cell line as viewed by a practicing feminist scientist. It provides a feminist analysis of the scientific discourse surrounding the HeLa cell line, and explores how feminist theories of science can provide a constructive and critical lens through which laboratory scientists can view their work.
A feminist primer for philosophers of science -- The legacy of twentieth century philosophy of science -- What feminist science studies can offer -- Challenges from every direction -- The prospects of twenty-first century philosophy of science.
Modest_Witness@Second_Millennium. FemaleMan_Meets_OncoMouse explores the roles of stories, figures, dreams, theories, facts, delusions, advertising, institutions, economic arrangements, publishing practices, scientific advances, and politics in twentieth- century technoscience. The book's title is an e-mail address. With it, Haraway locates herself and her readers in a sprawling net of associations more far-flung than the Internet. The address is not a cozy home. There is no innocent place to stand in the world where the book's author figure, FemaleMan, encounters DuPont's controversial laboratory rodent, OncoMouse. (...) Haraway sees the world of contemporary technoscience as a drama. Information sciences and life sciences are at the center of the dramatic action. Scenes are set in landscapes where maps of human genetic differences are stored in databases, racialized bodies are reconfigured by morphing for photographs in popular magazines, and transgenic mice important to breast cancer research are patented intellectual property. The actors are many, and not all are human. Beginning with the Modest Witness, the key figure in the Science Revolution, Haraway shows us the trouble lurking in race and gender- marked practices for attesting to matters of fact. In later scenes, Haraway explores the kinship relations among the many cyborg creatures produced in the late twentieth-century--in nuclear research, genetic engineering, reproductive technologies, computer-mediated representational practices, and mutations in biological approaches to "race.". (shrink)
This paper surveys three controversial new directions in research about the nature of science and briefly summarizes both the intellectual and sociological impact of this work. A bibliographic introduction to the major literature is provided and some fruitful directions for future research are proposed. Philosophers of science are also exhorted to perform 'community service' by correcting misunderstandings of the methods of science fostered by these new approaches.
This book presents the current feminist critique of science and the philosophy of science in such a way that students of philosophy of science, philosophers, feminist theorists, and scientists will find the material accessible and intellectually rigorous.Contemporary feminist debate, as well as the debate brought on by the radical critics of science, assumes—incorrectly—that certain movements in philosophy of science and science-driven theory are understood in their dynamics as well as in their details. All too (...) often, labels such as “Kuhnian” or “positivistic” are taken for granted, and much of the contemporary postmodern or post-structuralist feminist theory that sets out to criticize science does little to alleviate the reader’s lack of knowledge with regard to such movements.Unlike other texts, Philosophies of Science: Feminist Theories provides a student-oriented framework so that, for example, positivism is given a thorough grounding before the feminist critique of such epistemological theory is given. Other movements discussed include the Kuhnian turn, sociology of science, and the radical critique of science. Feminist theory and critique are interwoven throughout, with one chapter devoted to feminist thought, which includes the work of such thinkers as Longino, Hararway, Hubbard, Nelson, Harding, and Keller. (shrink)
The Gendered Cyborg brings together material from a variety of disciplines that analyze the relationship between gender and technoscience, and the way that this relationship is represented through ideas, language and visual imagery. The book opens with key feminist articles from the history and philosophy of science. They look at the ways that modern scientific thinking has constructed oppositional dualities such as objectivity/subjectivity, human/machine, nature/science, and male/female, and how these have constrained who can engage in science/technology and (...) how they have limited our ideas of the possibilities for both humanity and science. Later sections contain readings that present key feminist theories about representation to examine how gender and technoscience are represented in areas of particular contemporary interest: the new human reproductive technologies, science fiction, film and the Internet. The readings constantly ask "Is this for women, for human beings?" Contributors: Alison Adam, Anne Balsamo, Lynda K. Bundtzen, Barbara Creed, Mary Ann Doane, Dion Farquhar, Jennifer González, Evelynn M. Hammonds, Donna Haraway, Fiona Hovenden, Luce Irigaray, Linda Janes, Gill Kirkup, Nina Lykke, Sadie Plant, Rosalind Pollack Perchesky, Londa Schiebinger, Vivian Sobchack, Deborah Lynn Steinberg, Nancy Leys Stepan, Nina Wakeford, Kathryn Woodward. (shrink)
Philosophy of Science After Feminism is an important contribution to philosophy of science, in that it argues for the central relevance of advances from previous work in feminist philosophy of science and articulates a new vision for philosophy of science going in to the future. Kourany’s vision of philosophy of science’s future as “socially engaged and socially responsible” and addressing questions of the social responsibility of science itself has much to recommend it. I (...) focus the book articulation of an ethical-epistemic ideal for science, the Ideal of Socially Responsible Science, compare it to recent work in the same vein by Heather Douglas, and argue for some advantages of Kourany’s approach. I then ask some critical question about the view, particularly with respect to the source of values that are to be integrated into science and the status of values that are to be so integrated. I argue that Kourany is too sanguine about where the values that inquirers will use come from and that these values seem to be accorded too fixed a status in her account. (shrink)
The main message of Philosophy of Science after Feminism is twofold: that philosophy of science needs to locate science within its wider societal context, ceasing to analyze science as if it existed in a social/political/economic vacuum; and correlatively, that philosophy of science needs to aim for an understanding of scientific rationality that is appropriate to that context, a scientific rationality that integrates the ethical with the epistemic. The ideal of socially responsible science that (...) the book puts forward, in fact, maintains that sound social values as well as sound epistemic values must control every aspect of the scientific research process, from the choice of research questions to the communication and application of results. And it is this that raises troubling questions for Matt Brown, Hugh Lacey, and Libby Potter. In this paper I attempt to answer their questions and make explicit exactly what is in the offing if I succeed. (shrink)
Neural Geographies draws together recent feminist and deconstructive theories, early Freudian neurology and contemporary connectionist theories of cognition. In this original work, Elizabeth A. Wilson explores the convergence between Derrida, Freud and recent cognitive theory to pursue two important issues: the nature of cognition and neurology, and the politics of feminist and critical interventions into contemporary scientific psychology. This book seeks to reorient the usual presumptions of critical studies of the sciences by addressing the divisions between the static and the (...) changeable; the natural and the political; the neuro-cognitive and the cultural that have been traditional to both scientific and critical accounts of neurology and cognition. (shrink)
Hasok Chang (Science & Education 20:317–341, 2011) shows how the recovery of past experimental knowledge, the physical replication of historical experiments, and the extension of recovered knowledge can increase scientific understanding. These activities can also play an important role in both science and history and philosophy of science education. In this paper I describe the implementation of an integrated learning project that I initiated, organized, and structured to complement a course in history and philosophy of the life (...) sciences (HPLS). The project focuses on the study and use of descriptions, observations, experiments, and recording techniques used by early microscopists to classify various species of water flea. The first published illustrations and descriptions of the water flea were included in the Dutch naturalist Jan Swammerdam’s, Historia Insectorum Generalis (1669) (Algemeene verhandeling van de bloedeloose dierkens. t’Utrrecht, Meinardus van Dreunen, ordinaris Drucker van d’Academie). After studying these, we first used the descriptions, techniques, and nomenclature recovered to observe, record, and classify the specimens collected from our university ponds. We then used updated recording techniques and image-based keys to observe and identify the specimens. The implementation of these newer techniques was guided in part by the observations and records that resulted from our use of the recovered historical methods of investigation. The series of HPLS labs constructed as part of this interdisciplinary project provided a space for students to consider and wrestle with the many philosophical issues that arise in the process of identifying an unknown organism and offered unique learning opportunities that engaged students’ curiosity and critical thinking skills. (shrink)
. For moral guidance we human beings may be tempted to turn toward the past (scripture, tradition), toward present science, or toward future consequences. Each of these approaches has strengths and limitations. To address those limitations, we need to consider how these various perspectives can be brought togetherâand âreligion and scienceâ is an area in which this may happen. That makes the question of where to look for guidance potentially a central one for religion and science, setting the (...) agenda differently from apologetic questions with respect to religion or to science. However, âreligion and scienceâ does not solve the issues, leading to a single normative perspective; the way that current knowledge is integrated with past wisdom is highly dependent upon ideals that relate to the future. Thus, rather than resolving the need for guidance, the religion-and-science conversation becomes one way of addressing our need for guidance, bringing into the conversation past, present, and future. (shrink)
In the past two decades, feminist scholars have produced an abundance of theoretical writing in humanities and social science disciplines. The result is a body of work that is extraordinarily rich, hard to keep up with, and extremely difficult to teach.With the appearance of Theorizing Feminism: Parallel Trends in the Humanities and Social Sciences, the first genuinely interdisciplinary anthology of significant contributions to feminist theory, teachers will finally have a volume that does justice to their topic. Creatively edited, (...) with insightful introductory material, this timely reader illuminates the historical development of feminist theory as well as the current state of the field.Emphasizing common themes and interests in the humanities and social sciences, the editors have chosen those topics that have been central to feminist theory in many disciplines, that remain relevant to current debates, and that reflect the interests of a diverse community of thinkers.The contributors include leading figures from psychology, literary criticism, sociology, philosophy, anthropology, art history, law, and economics. This is the ideal text for any advanced course on interdisciplinary feminist theory, one that fills a long-standing gap in feminist pedagogy. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: -- Preface -- Acknowledgments -- Introduction, by Michael Weisberg and Jeffrey Kovac. -- 1 Trying to Understand, Making Bonds, by Roald Hoffmann -- Part 1: Chemical Reasoning and Explanation -- 2. Why Buy That Theory?, by Roald Hoffmann. -- 3. What Might Philosophy of Science Look Like If Chemists Built It?, by Roald Hoffmann -- 4. Unstable, by Roald Hoffmann -- 5. Nearly Circular Reasoning, by Roald Hoffmann -- 6. Ockham's Razor and Chemistry, by Roald (...) Hoffmann, Vladimir I. Minkin, and Barry K. Carpenter -- 7. Qualitative Thinking in the Age of Modern Computational Chemistry, or What Lionel Salem Knows, by Roald Hoffmann -- 8. Narrative, by Roald Hoffmann -- 9. Learning from Molecules in Distress, by Roald Hoffmann and Henning Hopf -- 10. Why Think Up New Molecules? by Roald Hoffmann -- 11. Protean, by Roald Hoffmann and Pierre Laszlo -- 12. How Should Chemists Think? by Roald Hoffmann -- Part 2: Writing and Communicating in Chemistry -- 13. Under the Surface of the Chemical Article, by Roald Hoffmann -- 14. Representation in Chemistry, by Roald Hoffmann and Pierre Laszlo -- 15.. The Say of Things, by Roald Hoffmann and Pierre Laszlo -- 16. How Symbolic and Iconic Languages Bridge the Two Worlds of the Chemist: A Case Study from Contemporary Bioorganic Chemistry, by Emily R. Grosholz and Roald Hoffmann -- 17 How Nice to Be an Outsider, by Roald Hoffmann -- 18. The Metaphor, Unchained, by Roald Hoffmann, -- Part 3: Art and Science -- 19. Art in Science? by Roald Hoffmann -- 20. Science and Crafts by Roald Hoffmann -- 21. Molecular Beauty, by Roald Hoffmann -- Part 4 Chemical Education -- 22. Teach to Search by Roald Hoffmann -- 23. Some Heretical Thoughts on What Our Students Are Telling Us, by Roald Hoffmann and Brian P. Coppola -- 24 Very Specific Teaching Strategies, and Why They Work, by Roald Hoffmann and Saundra Y. McGuire -- Part 5 Ethics in Science -- 25. Mind the Shade, by Roald Hoffmann -- 26. Science and Ethics: A Marriage of Necessity and Choice for this Millennium," by Roald Hoffmann -- 27. Honesty to the Singular Object, by Roald Hoffmann -- 28. The Material and Spiritual Rationales Are Inseparable, by Roald Hoffmann -- Index. (shrink)
In the past three decades, feminist scholars have produced an extraordinary rich body of theoretical writing in humanities and social science disciplines. This revised and updated second edition of Theorizing Feminism: Parallel Trends in the Humanities and Social Sciences, is a genuinely interdisciplinary anthology of significant contributions to feminist theory.This timely reader is creatively edited, and contains insightful introductory material. It illuminates the historical development of feminist theory as well as the current state of the field. Emphasizing common (...) themes and interests in the humanities and social sciences, the editors have chosen topics that remain relevant to current debates, reflect the interests of a diverse community of thinkers, and have been central to feminist theory in many disciplines.The contributors include leading figures from the fields of psychology, literary criticism, sociology, philosophy, anthropology, art history, law, and economics. This is the ideal text for any advanced course on interdisciplinary feminist theory, one that fills a long-standing gap in feminist pedagogy. (shrink)
Unlike feminist ethics, or feminist political philosophy, or even feminist epistemology and philosophy of science, feminist metaphysics cannot be said (yet!) to have standing as a full-fledged sub-discipline of either philosophy or feminist theory. Although one can find both undergraduate and graduate courses devoted to the other sub-fields just mentioned, a course in feminist metaphysics is a rare find; and there are few professional philosophers who would consider listing in their areas of specialization both feminist theory and metaphysics. There (...) are many reasons for this, some having to do with academic politics, e.g., women have not broken into the ranks of metaphysicians in anything like the numbers that can now be found in ethics or political philosophy, and some having to do with tensions between the methods and topics of standard feminist projects and standard metaphysical projects, e.g., feminism is typically taken to be a normative enterprise whereas metaphysics is not. (shrink)
Since 1972, the journal Radical Philosophy has provided a forum for the discussion of radical and critical ideas in philosophy. This anthology reprints some of the best articles to have appeared in the journal during the past five years. It covers topics in social and moral philosophy which are central to current controversies on the left, focusing on theoretical issues raised by socialist, feminist, and environmental movements. The articles engage with contemporary issues in critical terms, and represent the best of (...) recent philosophical work on the left. (shrink)
Thought experiments are employed for a number of reasons and in many different disciplines. This paper explores the work of Novalis in relation to the method of thought experiments in theology, with a special focus on the encounter between Christianity and the science of his day. In a first step I revisit the ongoing philosophical discussion on thought experiments in order to highlight the lack of interest in the literary features of thought experiments. Step two is dedicated to a (...) discussion of the work of Novalis as far as his metaphysics of phantasy and imagination is concerned as it plays out in his romantic poetry. Building on the results of this discussion, in a third step I discuss the relationship (a) between thought experiments in theology and other disciplines, (b) between current discussions of thought experiments and previous periods of philosophical investigation into the ‘laboratory of the mind’, (c) between Christianity and science, and (d) between literary fiction and cognition. (shrink)
This latest volume in the Oxford Readings in Feminism series consists of an exciting collection of articles addressing key questions for feminism and cultural studies. Encompassing both classic articles and challenging new work, Feminism and Cultural Studies is organized thematically and addresses commodification, women and labor, mass culture, fantasy and ideas of home.
What does it mean to know something - scientifically, anthropologically, socially? What is the relationship between different forms of knowledge and ways of knowing? How is knowledge mobilised in society and to what ends? Drawing on ethnographic examples from across the world, and from the virtual and global "places" created by new information technologies, Anthropology and Science presents examples of living and dynamic epistemologies and practices, and of how scientific ways of knowing operate in the world. Authors address the (...) nature of both scientific and experiential knowledge, and look at competing and alternative ideas about what it means to be human. The essays analyze the politics and ethics of positioning "science", "culture" or "society" as authoritative. They explore how certain modes of knowing are made authoritative and command allegiance (or not), and look at scientific and other rationalities - whether these challenge or are compatible with science. (shrink)
The editorial stance of this book is that mysticism and science offer a way forward here, but only if they abandon the idol of a single logical synthesis and acknowledge the diversity of different ways of knowing. The contributors from disciplines as diverse as music, psychology, mathematics and religion, build a vision that honours diversity while pointing to an implicit unity.
This book combines the insights of enlightenment thinking and feminist theory to explore the significance of love in modern philosophy. The author argues for the importance of emotion in general, and love in particular, to moral and political philosophy, pointing out that some of the central philosophers of the enlightment were committed to a moralized conception of love. However, she believes that feminism's insights arise not from its attribution of special and distinctive qualities to women, but from its recognition (...) of human vulernability. (shrink)
What kind of challenge does sexual and racial difference pose for postmodern ethics? What is the relation between ethical obligation and feminist interpretations of embodiment, passion, and eros? How can we negotiate between ethical responsibility for the Other and democratic struggles against domination, injustice, and equality, on the one hand, and internal conflicts within the subject, on the other? We cannot address such questions, Ziarek argues, without putting into dialogue discourses that have hitherto been segregated: postmodern ethics, feminism, race (...) theory, and the idea of radical democracy. Addressing a constellation of diverse thinkers - including Emmanuel Levinas, Patricia Williams, Jean-François Lyotard, Michel Foucault, Frantz Fanon, Julia Kristeva, and Luce Irigaray - the author proposes a new conception of ethics, an ethics of dissensus that rethinks the relation between freedom and obligation in a double context of embodiment and antagonism. (shrink)
This paper gives a philosophical outline of the initial foundations of politics as presented in the work of Plato and argues why this traditional philosophical approach can no longer serve as the foundation of politics. The argumentation is mainly based on the work of Latour (1993, 1997, 1999a, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008) and consists of five parts. In the first section I elaborate on the initial categorization of politics and science as represented by Plato in his Republic. In the (...) second section I discuss the gap between humans and non-humans and how they are tied together in actual real life political topics. In the third section I elaborate on the concepts of political and scientific discourse and how they are thought of as separated fields based on the ancient constitution of human society. In the fourth section I link the concepts of matter of fact and matter of concern. In a final section I present a redefinition of the nature of politics as represented in the work of Bruno Latour as an alternative foundation for the study of political systems. (shrink)
The evidence-based medicine (EBM) movement is touted as a new paradigm in medical education and practice, a description that carries with it an enthusiasm for science that has not been seen since logical positivism ﬂourished (circa 1920–1950). At the same time, the term ‘‘evidence-based medicine’’ has a ring of obviousness to it, as few physicians, one suspects, would claim that they do not attempt to base their clinical decision-making on available evidence. However, the apparent obviousness of EBM can and (...) should be challenged on the grounds of how ‘evidence’ has been problematised in the philosophy of science. EBM enthusiasm, it follows, ought to be tempered. The post-positivist, feminist, and phenomenological philosophies of science that are examined in this paper contest the seemingly unproblematic nature of evidence that underlies EBM by emphasizing different features of the social nature of science. The appeal to the authority of evidence that characterizes evidence-based practices does not increase objectivity but rather obscures the subjective elements that inescapably enter all forms of human inquiry. The seeming common sense of EBM only occurs because of its assumed removal from the social context of medical practice. In the current age where the institutional power of medicine is suspect, a model that represents biomedicine as politically disinterested or merely scientiﬁc should give pause. (shrink)
What can psychoanalysis offer contemporary arguments in the fields of Feminism, Queer Theory and Post-Colonialism? Jan Campbell introduces and analyses the way that psychoanalysis has developed and made problematic models of subjectivity linked to issues of sexuality, ethnicity, gender, and history. Via discussions of such influential and diverse figures as Lacan, Irigaray, Kristeva, Dollimore, Bhabha, Toni Morrison, and Alice Walker, Campbell uses psychoanalysis as a mediatory tool in a range of debates across the human sciences, while also arguing for (...) a transformation of psychoanalytic theory itself. (shrink)
In Sex, Gender and Science , Myra Hird outlines the social study of science and nature, specifically in relation to sex, sex differences, and sexuality. She examines how Western understandings of sex are based less upon understanding material sex differences than on a discourse that emphasizes sex dichotomy over sex diversity and argues for a feminist engagement with scientific debate that embraces the diversity and complexity of nature.
Science as Salvation discusses the high spiritual ambitions which tend to gather round the notion of science. Officially, science claims only the modest function of establishing facts. Yet people still hope for something much grander from it--namely, the myths by which to shape and support life in an increasingly confusing age. Our faith in science is abused by some scientists whose adolescent fantasies have spilled over into their professional lives. Salvation, immortality, mastery of the universe, humans (...) without bodies, and intelligent self-reproducing computers are just some of the notions and speculations that are now found--not on the pages of science fiction--but on the pages of science itself. The danger is that these concepts are given to a myth-hungry public who turn to science now that religion has lost its ability to create myth. Science as Salvation discusses the function and meaning of such fantasies. Midgley examines the need for and the use of myth in science, and how science and religion are related. She argues that we need to develop a realistic understanding of scientific imagination and its importance. Taking them seriously as symptoms of a genuine myth-hunger, it suggests that the proper function of science may need to include wider perspectives, which would make it plain that such desperate, compensatory dramas are unnecessary. (shrink)
In Political Theory and Feminist Social Criticism, Brooke Ackerly demonstrates the shortcomings of contemporary deliberative democratic theory, relativism and essentialism for guiding the practice of social criticism in the real, imperfect world. Drawing theoretical implications from the activism of Third World feminists who help bring to public audiences the voices of women silenced by coercion, Brooke Ackerly provides a practicable model of social criticism. She argues that feminist critics have managed to achieve in practice what other theorists do only incompletely (...) in theory. Complemented by Third World feminist social criticism, deliberative democratic theory becomes critical theory - actionable, coherent, and self-reflective. While a complement to democratic theory, Third World feminist social criticism also addresses the problem in feminist theory associated with attempts to deal with identity politics. Third World feminist social criticism thus takes feminist theory beyond the critical impasse of the tension between anti-relativist and anti-essentialist feminist theory. (shrink)
At Columbia University in 1906, William James gave a highly confrontational speech to the American Philosophical Association (APA). He ignored the technical philosophical questions the audience had gathered to discuss and instead addressed the topic of human energy. Tramping on the rules of academic decorum, James invoked the work of amateurs, read testimonials on the benefits of yoga and alcohol, and concluded by urging his listeners to take up this psychological and physiological problem. What was the goal of this unusual (...) speech? Rather than an oddity, Francesca Bordogna asserts that the APA address was emblematic—it was just one of many gestures that James employed as he plowed through the barriers between academic, popular, and pseudoscience, as well as the newly emergent borders between the study of philosophy, psychology, and the “science of man.” Bordogna reveals that James’s trespassing of boundaries was an essential element of a broader intellectual and social project. By crisscrossing divides, she argues, James imagined a new social configuration of knowledge, a better society, and a new vision of the human self. As the academy moves toward an increasingly interdisciplinary future, William James at the Boundaries reintroduces readers to a seminal influence on the way knowledge is pursued. (shrink)
The separation of science and religion in modern secular culture can easily obscure the fact that in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Europe ideas about nature were intimately related to ideas about God. Readers of this book will find fresh and exciting accounts of a phenomenon common to both science and religion: deviation from orthodox belief. How is heterodoxy to be measured? How might the scientific heterodoxy of particular thinkers impinge on their religious views? Would heterodoxy in religion create a (...) predisposition towards heterodoxy in science? Might there be a homology between heterodox views in both domains? Such major protagonists as Galileo and Newton are re-examined together with less familiar figures in order to bring out the extraordinary richness of scientific and religious thought in the pre-modern world. (shrink)
Cognitive Science, Literature, and the Arts is the first student-friendly introduction to the uses of cognitive science in the study of literature, written specifically for the non-scientist. Patrick Colm Hogan guides the reader through all of the major theories of cognitive science, focusing on those areas that are most important to fostering a new understanding of the production and reception of literature. This accessible volume provides a strong foundation of the basic principles of cognitive science, and (...) allows us to begin to understand how the brain works and makes us feel as we read. (shrink)
Volume 9 of the Routledge History of Philosophy surveys ten key topics in the Philosophy of Science, Logic and Mathematics in the Twentieth Century. Each article is written by one of the world's leading experts in that field. The papers provide a comprehensive introduction to the subject in question, and are written in a way that is accessible to philosophy undergraduates and to those outside of philosophy who are interested in these subjects. Each chapter contains an extensive bibliography of (...) the major writings in the field. Among the topics covered are the philosophy of logic; Ludwig Wittgenstein's Tractatus; a survey of logical positivism; the philosophy of physics and of science; probability theory and cybernetics. (shrink)
Both science and spirituality search for “ultimate truths.” God, the Big Bang, nirvana, the theory of evolution, relativity, quantum mechanics—these are some of the concepts that have been articulated as a result of that search. But the human capacity for exploring these ultimate sources of truth—the one thing that unites science and spirituality—is often overlooked. Embracing Mind argues (1) that science has hobbled itself by ignoring its unique source of inspiration—the mind—and (2) that the schism between (...) class='Hi'>science and spirituality is unnecessary. In language accessible to any intelligent reader, Embracing Mind first explores the veracity of major scientific “myths,” then presents a viable science of the mind emanating from contemplative spirituality, including Hindu, Christian, Sufi, and Buddhist views. (shrink)
In The March of Unreason, Dick Taverne expresses his concern that irrationality is on the rise in Western society, and argues that public opinion is increasingly dominated by unreflecting prejudice and an unwillingness to engage with factual evidence. Discussing topics such as genetically modified crops and foods, organic farming, the MMR vaccine, environmentalism, the precautionary principle, and the new anti-capitalist and anti-globalization movements, he argues that the rejection of the evidence-based approach nurtures a culture of suspicion, distrust, and cynicism, and (...) leads to dogmatic assertion and intolerance. Science, with all the benefits it brings, is an essential part of a civilized and democratic society: it offers the most hopeful future for humankind. (shrink)
Have evolution, science and the trappings of the modern world killed off God irrevocably? And what do we lose if we choose not to believe in him? From Newton and Descartes to Darwin and the discovery of the genome, religion has been pushed back further and further while science has gained ground. But what fills the void that religion leaves behind? This book is an attempt to look at these questions and to suggest a third way between the (...) easy consolations of religion and the persuasive force of science that the everyday modern reader can engage with. (shrink)
Introduction: Context and hisotry -- Introducing the dailogue partners : Torrance and Feyerabend -- Torrance : theology cohabiting with natural science -- Torrance's proposal : a new objectivity -- Feyerabend's challenge : 'knowledge without foundations' -- Two excuses -- Coherence and language -- From foundations to spirals -- Conclusion.
Taking insights from the philosophy of science and technology, theories of participatory democracy and Critical Theory, the author tackles and explores how democratic participation in scientific research and technological innovation could be possible, as a deliberative means of improving the rational basis for the development of modern society.
Because its business is to resolve disputed issues, the law very often calls on those fields of science where the pressure of commercial interests is most severe. Because the legal system aspires to handle disputes promptly, the scientific questions to which it seeks answers will often be those for which all the evidence is not yet in. Because of its case-specificity, the legal system often demands answers of a kind science is not well-equipped to supply; and, for related (...) reasons, constitutes virtually the entire market for certain fields of forensic science and for certain psychiatric specialties. Because of its adversarial character, the law tends to draw in scientists who are more willing than most to give an opinion on less-than-overwhelming evidence; and the more often such a witness testifies, the more unbudgeably confident he may become in his opinion. Legal rules can make it impossible to bring potentially useful scientific information to light, and the legal penchant for “indicia” and the like can transform scientific subtleties into legal shibboleths. And because of its concern for precedent, and the desideratum of finality, the law sometimes lags behind scientific advances. (shrink)
My dissertation combines philosophy of science and political philosophy. Drawing directly on the work of Alasdair MacIntyre and inspired by John Dewey, I develop two rival conceptions of scientific practice. I show that these rivals are closely linked to the two basic sides in the science and values debate -- the debate over the extent to which ethical and political values may legitimately influence scientific inquiry. Finally, I start to develop an account of justice that is sensitive to (...) these legitimate and illegitimate influences. (shrink)
Feminist contributions to the science curricula in higher education constitute invaluable but often overlooked resources for truly effective communication about science. Here I share a sampling of feminist science studies and discuss the origins of this effort to create inclusive and less biased science curricula that serve all students and citizens. Challenges from scientists center on assumptions and values about the appropriate relationship between science and politics, while challenges from educators extend to assumptions about how (...)science has been taught. Currently, national and local curriculum transformation efforts are producing useful insights and materials. (shrink)
Can one call nature 'evil'? Or is life a matter of eating and being eaten, where value judgments should not be applied? Is nature beautiful? Or is beauty in the eye of the beholder? Scientists often pretend that their disciplines only describe and analyze natural processes in factual terms, without making evaluative statements regarding reality. However, scientists may also be driven by the beauty of that which they study. Or they may be appalled by suffering they encounter, and look for (...) technical or medical means 'to improve nature'. Outside of the scientific community, value judgments are even more common. Humans evaluate nature and natural processes in moral, aesthetic and religious terms as cruel, beautiful, hopeful or meaningless. Is nature ultimately good, with all suffering and evil justified in the context of the larger evolutionary process? Or is nature to be improved, via culture or technology, as it is considered less adequate than it could be? In this book, some major scientists, theologians, and philosophers discuss these issues. As a study on the relations between religion and science, this is unique in emphasizing the evaluation of nature, rather than treating religion and science as competing or complementary casual explanations. (shrink)
This book provides a comprehensive introduction to the human, social and economic aspects of science and technology. It examines a broad range of issues from a variety of perspectives, using examples and experiences from Australia and around the world. The authors present complex issues in an accessible and engaging form. Topics include the responsibilities of scientists, ethical dilemmas and controversies, the Industrial Revolution, economic issues, public policy, and science and technology in developing countries. The book ends with a (...) thoughtful and provocative look towards the future. It includes extensive guides to further reading, as well as a useful section on information searching skills. This book will provoke, engage, inform and stimulate thoughtful discussion about culture, society and science. Broad and interdisciplinary, it will be of considerable value to students and teachers. (shrink)