The bias paradox: Why it's not just for feminists anymore

Synthese 138 (3):315 - 335 (2004)
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Abstract

The bias paradox emerges out of a tension between objectivism and relativism.If one rejects a certain the conception objectivity as absolute impartiality and value-neutrality (i.e., if all views are biased), how, then, can one hold that some epistemic perspectives are better than others? This is a problem that has been most explicitly dealt with in feminist epistemology, but it is not unique to feminist perspectives. In this paper, I wish to clearly lay out the nature of the paradox and the various attempts to avoid it. I also intend to show why it is a problem for any epistemological view that rejects absolute objectivity. Finally, I wish to briefly outline a possible solution to the paradox, a solution that requires recognizing that rationality necessarily requires both objective and subjective elements.

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Deborah Heikes
University of Alabama, Huntsville

References found in this work

Representing and Intervening.Ian Hacking - 1983 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 35 (4):381-390.
Representing and Intervening.Ian Hacking - 1987 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 92 (2):279-279.

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