Feminist Philosophy of Science: Standpoint Matters


Authors
Alison Wylie
University of British Columbia
Abstract
Standpoint theory is an explicitly political as well as social epistemology. Its central insight is that epistemic advantage may accrue to those who are oppressed by structures of domination and discounted as knowers. Feminist standpoint theorists hold that gender is one dimension of social differentiation that can make such a difference. In response to two longstanding objections I argue that epistemically consequential standpoints need not be conceptualized in essentialist terms, and that they do not confer automatic or comprehensive epistemic privilege on those who occupy them. Standpoint theory is best construed as conceptual framework for investigating the ways in which socially situated experience and interests make a contingent difference to what we know (well), and to the resources we have for determining which knowledge claims we can trust. I illustrate the advantages of this account in terms of two examples drawn from archaeological sources.
Keywords feminist philosophy of science  standpoint theory  situated knowledge  epistemic advantage  essentialism  science and values
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References found in this work BETA

The Fate of Knowledge.Helen Longino - 2002 - Princeton University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

A Plurality of Pluralisms: Collaborative Practice in Archaeology.Alison Wylie - 2015 - In Jonathan Y. Tsou, Alan Richardson & Flavia Padovani (eds.), Objectivity in Science. Springer Verlag. pp. 189-210.

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Why Standpoint Matters.Alison Wylie - 2003 - In Robert Figueroa & Sandra G. Harding (eds.), Science and Other Cultures: Issues in Philosophies of Science and Technology. Routledge. pp. 26--48.
Feminist Standpoint Theory as a Form of Naturalist Epistemology.Catherine Hundleby - 2001 - Dissertation, The University of Western Ontario (Canada)
Naturalizing Objectivity.Rebecca Kukla - 2008 - Perspectives on Science 16 (3):pp. 285-302.

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