Feminist Philosophy of Science: Standpoint Matters

Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophy Association 86 (2):47-76 (2012)
  Copy   BIBTEX


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.



External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

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.


Added to PP

2,954 (#1,916)

6 months
215 (#6,208)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Alison Wylie
University of British Columbia

Citations of this work

Transparency is Surveillance.C. Thi Nguyen - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 105 (2):331-361.
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.
Sins of Inquiry: How to Criticize Scientific Pursuits.Marina DiMarco & Kareem Khalifa - 2022 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 92 (C):86-96.
Objectivity in Science: New Perspectives From Science and Technology Studies.Flavia Padovani, Alan Richardson & Jonathan Y. Tsou (eds.) - 2015 - Cham: Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science, vol. 310. Springer.

View all 23 citations / Add more citations