Justifying Feminist Social Science

Hypatia 2 (3):107 - 127 (1987)
In this paper I set out the problem of feminist social science as the need to explain and justify its method of theory choice in relation to both its own theories and those of androcentric social science. In doing this, it needs to avoid both a positivism which denies the impact of values on scientific theory-choice and a radical relativism which undercuts the emancipatory potential of feminist research. From the relevant literature I offer two possible solutions: the Holistic and the Constructivist models of theory-choice. I then rate these models according to what extent they solve the problem of feminist social science. I argue that the principal distinction between these models is in their contrasting conceptions of truth. Solving the problem of feminist social science will require understanding that what is at stake in the debate is our conception of truth. This understanding will serve to clarify, though not resolve, the various approaches to and disagreements over methodologies and explanations in feminist social science.
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DOI 10.1111/j.1527-2001.1987.tb01344.x
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Theories and Things.W. V. Quine (ed.) - 1981 - Harvard University Press.
Philosophical Hermeneutics.Hans-Georg Gadamer - 1976 - University of California Press.
Theories and Things. [REVIEW]W. V. QUINE - 1962 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 13 (51):234-244.
From a Logical Point of View.Willard Orman Quine - 1953 - Harvard University Press.

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Immanent Truth.Linda Martín Alcoff - 1997 - Science in Context 10 (1).

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