Feminist epistemology, contextualism, and philosophical skepticism

Metaphilosophy 40 (5):671-688 (2009)

Abstract

Abstract: This essay explores the relation between feminist epistemology and the problem of philosophical skepticism. Even though feminist epistemology has not typically focused on skepticism as a problem, I argue that a feminist contextualist epistemology may solve many of the difficulties facing recent contextualist responses to skepticism. Philosophical skepticism appears to succeed in casting doubt on the very possibility of knowledge by shifting our attention to abnormal contexts. I argue that this shift in context constitutes an attempt to exercise unearned social and epistemic power and that it should be resisted on epistemic and pragmatic grounds. I conclude that skepticism is a problem that feminists can and should take up as they address the social aspects of traditional epistemological problems.

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Evelyn Brister
Rochester Institute of Technology

References found in this work

Philosophical Explanations.Robert Nozick - 1981 - Harvard University Press.
Knowledge and Lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2003 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Reason, Truth and History.Hilary Putnam - 1981 - Cambridge University Press.
Knowledge and Practical Interests.Jason Stanley - 2005 - Oxford University Press.
On Certainty (Ed. Anscombe and von Wright).Ludwig Wittgenstein - 1969 - New York and London: Harper Torchbooks.

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Citations of this work

Rape Culture and Epistemology.Bianca Crewe & Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa - 2021 - In Jennifer Lackey (ed.), Applied Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 253–282.
Contextualism in Epistemology.Robin McKenna - 2015 - Analysis 75 (3):489-503.

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