Sandra Harding here develops further the themes first addressed in her widely influential book, The Science Question in Feminism, and conducts a compelling analysis of feminist theories on the philosophical problem of how we know what we ...
This essay is a critical review of Sandra Harding's The Science Question in Feminism. Her text constitutes a monumental effort to capture an overview of recent feminist critique of science and to develop a feminist dialectical and materialist conception of the history of masculinist science. In this analysis of Harding's work, the organizing categories as well as the main assumptions of the text are reconstructed for closer examination within the context of modern feminist critique of science and feminist (...) theory in general. Although a postive review of Harding's text is presented, questions are raised concerning the adequacy of socialist feminist assumptions for such a project, the limitations of Harding's theorization of gender, and the appropriateness of "postmodernism" as a final category of residence. (shrink)
In the mid-1970s and early 1980s, several feminist theorists began developing alternatives to the traditional methods of scientific research. The result was a new theory, now recognized as Standpoint Theory, which caused heated debate and radically altered the way research is conducted. The Feminist Standpoint Theory Reader is the first anthology to collect the most important essays on the subject as well as more recent works that bring the topic up-to-date. Leading feminist scholar and one of the founders of Standpoint (...) Theory, Sandra Harding brings together the a prestigious list of scholars--Dorothy Smith, Donna Haraway, Patricia Hill Collins, Nancy Hartsock and Hilary Rose--to not only showcase the most influential essays on the topic but to also highlight subsequent developments of these approaches from a wide variety of disciplines and intellectual and political positions. The Reader will be essential reading for feminist scholars. (shrink)
In _Sciences from Below_, the esteemed feminist science studies scholar Sandra Harding synthesizes modernity studies with progressive tendencies in science and technology studies to suggest how scientific and technological pursuits might be more productively linked to social justice projects around the world. Harding illuminates the idea of multiple modernities as well as the major contributions of post-Kuhnian Western, feminist, and postcolonial science studies. She explains how these schools of thought can help those seeking to implement progressive social projects (...) refine their thinking to overcome limiting ideas about what modernity and modernization are, the objectivity of scientific knowledge, patriarchy, and Eurocentricity. She also reveals how ideas about gender and colonialism frame the conventional contrast between modernity and tradition. As she has done before, Harding points the way forward in _Sciences from Below_. Describing the work of the post-Kuhnian science studies scholars Bruno Latour, Ulrich Beck, and the team of Michael Gibbons, Helga Nowtony, and Peter Scott, Harding reveals how, from different perspectives, they provide useful resources for rethinking the modernity versus tradition binary and its effects on the production of scientific knowledge. Yet, for the most part, they do not take feminist or postcolonial critiques into account. As Harding demonstrates, feminist science studies and postcolonial science studies have vital contributions to make; they bring to light not only the male supremacist investments in the Western conception of modernity and the historical and epistemological bases of Western science but also the empirical knowledge traditions of the global South. _Sciences from Below_ is a clear and compelling argument that modernity studies and post-Kuhnian, feminist, and postcolonial sciences studies each have something important, and necessary, to offer to those formulating socially progressive scientific research and policy. (shrink)
In this pioneering new book, Sandra Harding and Robert Figueroa bring together an important collection of original essays by leading philosophers exploring an extensive range of diversity issues for the philosophy of science and technology. The essays gathered in this volume extend current philosophical discussion of science and technology beyond the standard feminist and gender analyses that have flourished over the past two decades, by bringing a thorough and truly diverse set of cultural, racial, and ethical concerns to bear (...) on questioning in these areas. Science and Other Cultures charts important new directions in ongoing discussions of science and technology, and makes a significant contribution to both scholarly and teaching resources available in the field. (shrink)
"The classic and recent essays gathered here will challenge scholars in the natural sciences, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, and women’s studies to examine the role of racism in the construction and application of the sciences. Harding... has also created a useful text for diverse classroom settings." —Library Journal "A rich lode of readily accessible thought on the nature and practice of science in society. Highly recommended." —Choice "This is an excellent collection of essays that should prove useful in a wide (...) range of STS courses." —Science, Technology, and Society "... important and provocative... "—The Women’s Review of Books "The timeliness and utility of this large interdisciplinary reader on the relation of Western science to other cultures and to world history can hardly be overemphasized. It provides a tremendous resource for teaching and for research... "—Ethics "Excellent." —The Reader’s Review "Sandra Harding is an intellectually fearless scholar. She has assembled a bold, impressive collection of essays to make a volume of illuminating power. This brilliantly edited book is essential reading for all who seek understanding of the multicultural debates of our age. Never has a book been more timely." —Darlene Clark Hine These authors dispute science’s legitimation of culturally approved definitions of race difference—including craniology and the measurement of IQ, the notorious Tuskegee syphilis experiments, and the dependence of Third World research on First World agendas. (shrink)
Dr Anne Merriman is the founder of Hospice Africa and Hospice Africa Uganda. She is presently Director of Policy and International Programmes. Here she tells the story of how HAU was founded. Dr Richard Harding is an academic researcher working on palliative care in Sub-Saharan Africa. This paper described Dr Merriman's experience in pioneering palliative care provision. In particular it examines the steps to achieving wider availability of opioids for pain management for those with far advanced disease. Hospice Africa (...) Uganda has been a model facility in achieving high quality clinical care embedded in a strategy of advocacy and education, using a multifaceted approach that has addressed logistical, policy and legislative barriers. Until 1990 control of severe pain in Sub-Saharan Africa was non-existent except in Zimbabwe and S Africa. Oral affordable morphine was brought to Kenya through Nairobi Hospice that year, and to Uganda through Hospice Africa Uganda in 1993. This paper offers an example of a highly effective and cost efficient model of care that has transformed the ability to humanely manage the problems of those with terminal illness, and to offer a culturally appropriate. (shrink)
The interplay between violence, religion, and politics is a central problem for societies and has attracted the attention of important philosophers, including Martin Heidegger, Jacques Derrida, and René Girard. Centuries earlier during the Italian Renaissance, these same problems drew the interest of Niccolò Machiavelli. In Not Even a God Can Save Us Now, Brian Harding argues that Machiavelli’s work anticipates – and often illuminates – contemporary theories on the place of violence in our lives. While remaining cognizant of the (...) historical and cultural context of Machiavelli’s writings, Harding develops Machiavelli’s accounts of sacrifice, truth, religion, and violence and places them in conversation with those of more contemporary thinkers. Including in-depth discussions of Machiavelli’s works The Prince and Discourses on Livy, as well as his Florentine Histories, The Art of War, and other less widely discussed works, Harding interprets Machiavelli as endorsing sacrificial violence that founds or preserves a state, while censuring other forms of violence. This reading clarifies a number of obscure themes in Machiavelli’s writings, and demonstrates how similar themes are at work in the thought of recent phenomenologists. The first book to approach both Machiavellian and contemporary continental thought in this way, Not Even a God Can Save Us Now is a highly original and provocative approach to both the history of philosophy and to contemporary debates about violence, religion, and politics. (shrink)
In this interview, poet, playwright and human rights activist, Sonia Sanchez, offers rare commentary on her creative process and her life as an artist-activist. Sanchez discusses her childhood in Alabama and the influence of her father and her grandmother in her work. She talks about her dissatisfactions with organized religion, the meaning of spirituality in her life, and the challenge of living a principled life. Sanchez also describes her encounter with Malcolm X, her experience in the Nation of Islam and (...) gender tensions in the Black Arts Movement. Finally, Prof. Sanchez offers advice to young hip hop artists and explains her creative process as a writer. (shrink)
This collection of essays, first published two decades ago, presents central feminist critiques and analyses of natural and social sciences and their philosophies. Unfortunately, in spite of the brilliant body of research and scholarship in these fields in subsequent decades, the insights of these essays remain as timely now as they were then: philosophy and the sciences still presume kinds of social innocence to which they are not entitled. The essays focus on Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hobbes, Rousseau, and Marx; on (...) the 'adversary method' model of philosophic reasoning; on principles of individuation on philosophical ontology and philosophy of language; on individualistic assumptions in psychology; functionalism in sociological and biological theory; evolutionary theory; the methodology of political science; and conceptions of objective inquiry in the sciences. In taking insights of both Liberal and Marxian women's movements into the purportedly most abstract and value-free areas of Western thought, these essays chart sexist and androcentric assumptions, claims and practices in the cognitive, technical cores of Western sciences and their philosophies. They begin to identify the distinctive aspects of women's experiences and locations in male-supremacist social structures which can provide resources needed for the creation of post-androcentric thinking in research, scholarship, and public policy. Such uses of feminist insights remain controversial today, and even among some feminists. These authors were all junior researchers and scholars two decades ago; today many are among the most distinguished senior scholars in their fields. Their work here provides a splendid opportunity for upper-level undergraduate and graduate students in philosophy and the social sciences to explore some of the most intriguing and controversial challenges to disciplinary projects and to public policy today. (shrink)
: Feminist standpoint theory remains highly controversial: it is widely advocated, used to guide research and justify its results, and yet is also vigorously denounced. This essay argues that three such sites of controversy reveal the value of engaging with standpoint theory as a way of reflecting on and debating some of the most anxiety-producing issues in contemporary Western intellectual and political life. Engaging with standpoint theory enables a socially relevant philosophy of science.
This study examines the use of a modified form of the theory of planned behavior in understanding the decisions of undergraduate students in engineering and humanities to engage in cheating. We surveyed 527 randomly selected students from three academic institutions. Results supported the use of the model in predicting ethical decision-making regarding cheating. In particular, the model demonstrated how certain variables (gender, discipline, high school cheating, education level, international student status, participation in Greek organizations or other clubs) and moral constructs (...) related to intention to cheat, attitudes toward cheating, perceptions of norms with respect to cheating, and ultimately cheating behaviors. Further the relative importance of the theory of planned behavior constructs was consistent regardless of context, whereas the contributions of variables included in the study that were outside the theory varied by context. Of particular note were findings suggesting that the extent of cheating in high school was a strong predictor of cheating in college and that engineering students reported cheating more frequently than students in the humanities, even when controlling for the number of opportunities to do so. (shrink)
Previous research indicates that students in engineering self-report cheating in college at higher rates than those in most other disciplines. Prior work also suggests that participation in one deviant behavior is a reasonable predictor of future deviant behavior. This combination of factors leads to a situation where engineering students who frequently participate in academic dishonesty are more likely to make unethical decisions in professional practice. To investigate this scenario, we propose the hypotheses that (1) there are similarities in the decision-making (...) processes used by engineering students when considering whether or not to participate in academic and professional dishonesty, and (2) prior academic dishonesty by engineering students is an indicator of future decisions to act dishonestly. Our sample consisted of undergraduate engineering students from two technically-oriented private universities. As a group, the sample reported working full-time an average of six months per year as professionals in addition to attending classes during the remaining six months. This combination of both academic and professional experience provides a sample of students who are experienced in both settings. Responses to open-ended questions on an exploratory survey indicate that students identify common themes in describing both temptations to cheat or to violate workplace policies and factors which caused them to hesitate in acting unethically, thus supporting our first hypothesis and laying the foundation for future surveys having forced-choice responses. As indicated by the responses to forced-choice questions for the engineering students surveyed, there is a relationship between self-reported rates of cheating in high school and decisions to cheat in college and to violate workplace policies; supporting our second hypothesis. Thus, this exploratory study demonstrates connections between decision-making about both academic and professional dishonesty. If better understood, these connections could lead to practical approaches for encouraging ethical behavior in the academic setting, which might then influence future ethical decision-making in workplace settings. (shrink)
Where the old objectivity question asked, Objectivity or relativism: which side are you on?, the new one refuses this choice, seeking instead to bypass widely recognized problems with the conceptual framework that restricts the choices to these two. It asks, How can the notion of objectivity be updated and made useful for contemporary knowledge-seeking projects? One response to this question is the strong objectivity program that draws on feminist standpoint epistemology to provide a kind of logic of discovery for maximizing (...) our ability to block might makes right in the sciences. It does so by delinking the neutrality ideal from standards for maximizing objectivity, since neutrality is now widely recognized as not only not necessary, not only not helpful, but, worst of all, an obstacle to maximizing objectivity when knowledge-distorting interests and values have constituted a research project. Strong objectivity provides a method for correcting this kind of situation. However, standpoint approaches have their own limitations which are quite different from the misreadings of them upon which most critics have tended to focus. Unfortunately, historically limited epistemologies and philosophies of science are all we get to choose from at this moment in history. (shrink)
In this article we describe our approach to understanding wrongdoing in medical research and practice, which involves the statistical analysis of coded data from a large set of published cases. We focus on understanding the environmental factors that predict the kind and the severity of wrongdoing in medicine. Through review of empirical and theoretical literature, consultation with experts, the application of criminological theory, and ongoing analysis of our first 60 cases, we hypothesize that 10 contextual features of the medical environment (...) (including financial rewards, oversight failures, and patients belonging to vulnerable groups) may contribute to professional wrongdoing. We define each variable, examine data supporting our hypothesis, and present a brief case synopsis from our study that illustrates the potential influence of the variable. Finally, we discuss limitations of the resulting framework and directions for future research. (shrink)
According to the partial identity account of resemblance, exact resemblance is complete identity and inexact resemblance is partial identity. In this paper, I examine Arda Denkel's (1998) argument that this account of resemblance is logically incoherent as it results in a vicious regress. I claim that although Denkel's argument does not succeed, a modified version of it leads to the conclusion that the partial identity account is plausible only if the constituents of every determinate property are ultimately quantitative in nature.
Closure is the central premise in one of the best arguments for physicalism—the argument from causal overdetermination. According to Closure, at every time at which a physical event has a sufficient cause, it has a sufficient physical cause. This principle is standardly defended by appealing to the fact that it enjoys empirical support from numerous confirming cases (and no disconfirming cases) in physics. However, in recent literature on mental causation, attempts have been made to provide a stronger argument for it. (...) This essay argues that, insofar as these attempts are successful, they actually establish a far stronger closure principle. Worryingly, the acceptance of this stronger principle presents a new problem for the most popular form of physicalism, that of nonreductive physicalism. The problem shall be referred to as the 'Problem of Strong Closure.'. (shrink)
Although higher education understands the need to develop critical thinkers, it has not lived up to the task consistently. Students are graduating deficient in these skills, unprepared to think critically once in the workforce. Limited development of cognitive processing skills leads to less effective leaders. Various definitions of critical thinking are examined to develop a general construct to guide the discussion as critical thinking is linked to constructivism, leadership, and education. Most pedagogy is content-based built on deep knowledge. Successful critical (...) thinking pedagogy is moving away from this paradigm, teaching students to think complexly. Some of the challenges faced by higher education moving to a critical thinking curricula are discussed, and recommendations are offered for improving outcomes. (shrink)
Despite the fact that the nature of the properties of causation is rarely discussed within the mental causation debate, the implicit assumption is that they are universals as opposed to tropes. However, in recent literature on the problem of mental causation, a new solution has emerged which aims to address the problem by appealing to tropes. It is argued that if the properties of causation are tropes rather than universals, then a psychophysical reductionism can be advanced which does not face (...) the problem of multiple realizability. However, the 'trope solution' rests upon the assumption that one can combine a trope monism with a type dualism. I argue that such a combination cannot be allowed. Given a plausible interpretation of types within a trope ontology, trope monism in fact entails type monism. Consequently, if one identifies mental tropes with physical tropes, one must also identify mental and physical types and in doing so face a modified version of the multiple realizability argument. (shrink)
Despite the fact that Davidson's theory of the causal relata is crucial to his response to the problem of mental causation - that of anomalous monism - it is commonly overlooked within discussions of his position. Anomalous monism is accused of entailing property epiphenomenalism, but given Davidson's understanding of the causal relata, such accusations are wholly misguided. There are, I suggest, two different forms of property epiphenomenalism. The first understands the term 'property' in an ontological sense, the second in a (...) linguistic sense. Anomalous monism cannot plausibly be accused of either. The first cannot legitimately be applied to anomalous monism as it is incompatible with Davidson's ontology. And accusations of predicate epiphenomenalism, although consistent with Davidson's ontology, are ungrounded regarding Davidson's anomalous monism. Philosophers of mind have mislocated the problem with Davidson's anomalous monism, which in fact lies with the implausible theory of the causal relata upon which it rests. (shrink)
Le Poidevin has recently presented an argument that gives rise to a serious problem for relationist theories of space. It appeals to the simple geometrical fact that if A, B and C are three points lying in a straight line, then AB and BC together entail AC. He suggests that an ontological relationship of supervenience must be appealed to to explain this entailment. Given this thesis of supervenience, relationism is implausible. I argue that the problem that Le Poidevin raises for (...) relationism should be rejected, because the thesis of supervenience is false. The latter rests upon what Le Poidevin refers to as ‘The explanatory principle', a principle which he claims to be a natural extension of the truthmaker principle. Contrary to this, I argue that given any plausible theory of truthmaking, the explanatory principle is false. With the rejection of this principle, Le Poidevin's argument against relationism collapses. (shrink)
The conservation laws do not establish the central premise within the argument from causal overdetermination – the causal completeness of the physical domain. Contrary to David Papineau, this is true even if there is no non-physical energy. The combination of the conservation laws with the claim that there is no non-physical energy would establish the causal completeness principle only if, at the very least, two further causal claims were accepted. First, the claim that the only way that something non-physical could (...) affect a physical system is by affecting the amount of energy or momentum within it, or redistributing the energy and momentum within it. Second, the claim that redistribution of energy and momentum cannot be brought about without supplying energy or momentum. Both of these claims, however, are exceedingly difficult to defend in the context of the argument. (shrink)
A continuing concern of many feminists and non-feminists alike has been to identify a distinctive feminist method of inquiry. This essay argues that this method question is misguided and should be abandoned. In doing so it takes up the distinctions between and relationships among methods, methodologies and epistemologies; proposes that the concern to identify sources of the power of feminist analyses motivates the method question; and suggests how to pursue this project.
The essay considers what respect demands and what trust demands when one person trusts another. What respect requires in responding to trust is substantial but limited, ranging from the sharply proscriptive to the mildly prescriptive. What trust requires is, in a sense, unlimited, its content depending on the extent to which the person who trusts, and more importantly the person who is trusted, seek to build a relationship characterised by trust and trustworthiness.
How can it be that the fiduciary relationship has trust at its core if trust is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for the existence of such a relationship? My aim in this article is to make some arguments that I think might assist in solving that puzzle. First, I argue that fiduciary relationships are likely to be characterized by relatively ‘thick’ interpersonal trust. Secondly, I argue that moral duties referring to trust play a role in the justification of (...) fiduciary duties, but that the role of trust in the underlying moral duties is contingent, yielding only a contingent connection between trust and fiduciary duties. Finally, I argue that a goal of fiduciary law should be enabling and supporting trusting relationships, but that this goal should be viewed within a broader liberal outlook according to which fiduciary law also enables and supports relationships on terms of detachment. (shrink)
The paper has two main parts. First, I introduce the eudaimonistic setting of the epistemological discussions in book one and – very briefly – and make a few points about book two. Second, in an analysis of book three, I show how Augustine relieves a tension which was present between the conclusions of books one and two and how the relief of that tension culminates in a critique of the skeptic’s eudaimonistic claims more so than their epistemological ones.
Recent "gender, environment, and sustainable development" accounts raise pointed questions about the complicity of Enlightenment philosophies of science with failures of Third World development policies and the current environmental crisis. The strengths of these analyses come from distinctive ways they link androcentric, economistic, and nature-blind aspects of development thinking to "the Enlightenment dream." In doing so they share perspectives with and provide resources for other influential schools of science studies.
This is my first published paper, written over a decade ago. I can't remember exactly what I argued in it, but I can assure you that the follow up paper "Epistemology and Eudaimonism in Augustine's Contra Academicos" is better.
Eight research protocols which had previously been approved by Ethical Research Committees (ERCs) were reviewed in simulated review committees set up during a symposium on medical ethics. Only three protocols were considered to provide fully adequate information to allow ethical review and only one protocol was thought to provide sufficient guarantees on the ethical issues raised by the proposed research. For five other protocols additional safeguards were considered necessary, in particular covering the problem of informed consent. Two protocols were considered (...) to raise unresolvable ethical issues. This artificial exercise does not establish that review by ERCs is ineffective. It does highlight the lack of objective criteria in ethical review. Peer review by exchange of protocols between ERCs could assist in increasing the consistency in the application of ethical standards. (shrink)
Mid-Twentieth Century declarations characterizing science as a 'Little democracy' and as autonomous from society continue to shape the arguments of scientists' and critics of science studies, including Meera Nanda's arguments. Yet such an image of science has long lost whatever empirical support it ever posessed. This article shares Nanda's concern to envision sciences which support social justice projects, but not the particular criticisms she makes of Feminist, post-colonial, and post-kuhnian science studies.
This essay is concerned with defending Husserl against the criticism that he is insuffi ciently attentive to intersubjectivity. It has two moments; the fi rst articulates what I take to be a general version of the critique and then turns to a discussion of a version derived from Wittgenstein’s private language argument and the ensuing debate regarding this critique between Suzanne Cunningham and Peter Hutcheson. This discussion concludes by noting a general agreement betweenthe two participants that Husserl’s ego is not (...) directly involved in intersubjective relationships. I argue that as long as this is granted, the broader criticism cannot be answered. Whence, the second moment defends Husserl against this critique arguing that Husserl’s transcendental ego is an intersubjective one. (shrink)