Feminism is both an intellectual commitment and a political movement that seeks justice for women and the end of sexism in all forms. However, there are many different kinds of feminism. Feminists disagree about what sexism consists in, and what exactly ought to be done about it; they disagree about what it means to be a woman or a man and what social and political implications gender has or should have. Nonetheless, motivated by the quest for social justice, feminist inquiry (...) provides a wide range of perspectives on social, cultural, and political phenomena. Important topics for feminist theory and politics include: the body, class and work, disability, the family, globalization, human rights, popular culture, race and racism, reproduction, science, the self, sex work, and sexuality. Extended discussion of these topics is included in the sub-entries to feminism in this encyclopedia. (shrink)
The National Science Foundation (NSF) in the United States, like many other funding agencies all over the globe, has made large investments in interdisciplinary research in the sciences and engineering, arguing that interdisciplinary research is an essential resource for addressing emerging problems, resulting in important social benefits. Using NSF as a case study for problem that might be relevant in other contexts as well, I argue that the NSF itself poses a significant barrier to such research in not sufficiently appreciating (...) the value of the humanities as significant interdisciplinary partners. This essay focuses on the practices of philosophy as a highly valuable but currently under-appreciated partner in achieving the goals of interdisciplinary research. This essay advances a proposal for developing deeper and wider interdisciplinary research in the sciences through coupled ethical-epistemological research. I argue that this more robust model of interdisciplinary practice will lead to better science by providing resources for understanding the types of value decisions that are entrenched in research models and methods, offering resources for identifying the ethical implications of research decisions, and providing a lens for identifying the questions that are ignored, under-examined, and rendered invisible through scientific habit or lack of interest. In this way, we will have better science both in the traditional sense of advancing knowledge by building on and adding to our current knowledge as well as in the broader sense of science for the good of, namely, scientific research that better benefits society. (shrink)
Concerns about the risks of unmitigated greenhouse gas emissions are growing. At the same time, confidence that international policy agreements will succeed in considerably lowering anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions is declining. Perhaps as a result, various geoengineering solutions are gaining attention and credibility as a way to manage climate change. Serious consideration is currently being given to proposals to cool the planet through solar-radiation management. Here we analyze how the unique and nontrivial risks of geoengineering strategies pose fundamental questions at (...) the interface between science and ethics. To illustrate the importance of integrated ethical and scientific analysis, we define key open questions and outline a coupled scientific-ethical research agenda to analyze solar-radiation management geoengineering proposals. We identify nine key fields of coupled research including whether solar-radiation management can be tested, how quickly learning could occur, normative decisions embedded in how different climate trajectories are valued, and justice issues regarding distribution of the harms and benefits of geoengineering. To ensure that ethical analyses are coupled with scientific analyses of this form of geoengineering, we advocate that funding agencies recognize the essential nature of this coupled research by establishing an Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications program for solar-radiation management. (shrink)
In this essay we develop and argue for the adoption of a more comprehensive model of research ethics than is included within current conceptions of responsible conduct of research (RCR). We argue that our model, which we label the ethical dimensions of scientific research (EDSR), is a more comprehensive approach to encouraging ethically responsible scientific research compared to the currently typically adopted approach in RCR training. This essay focuses on developing a pedagogical approach that enables scientists to better understand and (...) appreciate one important component of this model, what we call intrinsic ethics . Intrinsic ethical issues arise when values and ethical assumptions are embedded within scientific findings and analytical methods. Through a close examination of a case study and its application in teaching, namely, evaluation of climate change integrated assessment models, this paper develops a method and case for including intrinsic ethics within research ethics training to provide scientists with a comprehensive understanding and appreciation of the critical role of values and ethical choices in the production of research outcomes. (shrink)
Some authors have called for increased research on various forms of geoengineering as a means to address global climate change. This paper focuses on the question of whether a particular form of geoengineering, namely deploying sulfate aerosols in the stratosphere to counteract some of the effects of increased greenhouse gas concentrations, would be a just response to climate change. In particular, we examine problems sulfate aerosol geoengineering (SAG) faces in meeting the requirements of distributive, intergenerational, and procedural justice. We argue (...) that SAG faces obstacles to meeting the requirements of all three considered kinds of justice, because its impacts can harm some persons and communities much more than others; it poses serious risks to future generations; and SAG is especially prone to unilateral implementation. While we do not claim that SAG ought not to be implemented, we argue that it is the responsibility of proponents of SAG to recognize and address these ethical obstacles before advocating its implementation. (shrink)
The goal of this paper is to articulate and advocate for an enhanced role for philosophers of science in the domain of science policy as well as within the science curriculum. I argue that philosophy of science as a field can learn from the successes as well as the mistakes of bioethics and begin to develop a new model that includes robust contributions to the science classroom, research collaborations with scientists, and a role for public philosophy through involvement in science (...) policy development. Through an analysis of two case studies, I illustrate how philosophers of science can make effective and productive contributions to science education as well as to interdisciplinary scientific research, and argue for the essential role of philosophers of science in the realm of science policy. (shrink)
: This essay aims to clarify the value of developing systematic studies of ignorance as a component of any robust theory of knowledge. The author employs feminist efforts to recover and create knowledge of women's bodies in the contemporary women's health movement as a case study for cataloging different types of ignorance and shedding light on the nature of their production. She also helps us understand the ways resistance movements can be a helpful site for understanding how to identify, critique, (...) and transform ignorance. (shrink)
: Lay understanding and scientific accounts of female sexuality and orgasm provide a fertile site for demonstrating the importance of including epistemologies of ignorance within feminist epistemologies. Ignorance is not a simple lack. It is often constructed, maintained, and disseminated and is linked to issues of cognitive authority, doubt, trust, silencing, and uncertainty. Studying both feminist and nonfeminist understandings of female orgasm reveals practices that suppress or erase bodies of knowledge concerning women's sexual pleasures.
This essay delineates the contributions of feminist critiques of science to contemporary reconstructions of empiricism. I argue that three central tenets arise from feminist attention to the dynamics of gender and oppression in the theories and methods of science: 1) a rejection of the science/politics dichotomy; 2) an acknowledgement of the epistemic import of subjective components of knowledge; and 3) a reconfiguration of the subject of knowledge. These three tenets are illustrated and supported through examples from the history of science.
The past twenty years have seen an explosion of work by feminist philosophers and several surveys of this work have documented the richness of the many different ways of doing feminist philosophy. But this major new anthology is the first broad and inclusive selection of the most important work in this field.There are many unanswered questions about the future of feminist philosophy. Which of the many varieties of feminist philosophy will last, and which will fade away? What kinds of accommodations (...) will be possible with mainstream non-feminist philosophy? Which will separate themselves and flourish on their own? To what extent will feminists change the topics philosophers address? To what extent will they change the very way in which philosophy is done?However these questions are answered, it is clear that feminist philosophy is having and will continue to have a major impact on the discipline of philosophy. This volume is the first to allow the scholar, the student, and other interested readers to sample this diverse literature and to ponder these questions for themselves.Organized around nine traditional “types” of feminist philosophy, Feminism and Philosophy is an imaginatively edited volume that will stimulate readers to explore many new pathways to understanding. It marks a defining moment in feminist philosophy, and it will be an essential text for philosophers and for feminist theorists in many other fields. (shrink)
I argue that Nelson's feminist transformation of empiricism provides the basis of a dialogue across three currently competing feminist epistemologies: feminist empiricism, feminist standpoint theories, and postmodern feminism, a dialogue that will result in a dissolution of the apparent tensions between these epistemologies and provide an epistemology with the openness and fluidity needed to embrace the concerns of feminists.
In this issue of Hypatia there is a consensus that science is not value-neutral and that cultural/political concerns enter into the epistemology, methodology and conclusions of scientific theory and practice. In future dialogues the question that needs to be further addressed is the precise role political concerns should play in the formulation of a feminist theory and practice of science.
This history of reproductive theories from Aristotle to the preformationists provides an excellent illustration of the ways in which the gender/science system informs the process of scientific investigation. In this essay I examine the effects of the bias of woman's inferiority upon theories of human reproduction. I argue that the adherence to a belief in the inferiority of the female creative principle biased scientific perception of the nature of woman's role in human generation.
This essay is a response to the comments and critique of Laura Purdy to my earlier paper "Re-Fusing Nature/Nurture" (1983, 621-632). In it I re-emphasize that the traditional nature/nurture dichotomy is based upon an unacceptable ontology and briefly note the type of metaphysic that would serve as a more appropriate basis.