Beyond Epistemology: A Pragmatist Approach to Feminist Science Studies

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Rowman & Littlefield, 2003 - Philosophy - 167 pages
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Social critics, and especially feminist researchers, have long argued that science makes life difficult for society's weakest members. Many of the feminist critiques, particularly, have been based in epistemology. Sharyn Clough supports the intervention into science, but rejects the feminists' prevalent focus on epistemology in favor of a more empirical approach. Beyond Epistemology argues that the best way to discard sexist and racist science is to encourage more accurate data and methods. Using a case study from evolutionary biology, Clough shows how inadequate empirical philosophy is in creating real change in the sciences. Instead, she supports a more pragmatic approach based on the work of Richard Rorty and Donald Davidson. This work encourages Clough's fellow feminists to refocus their critiques and discard their philosophical debates about epistemology.
 

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Contents

Feminist Engagement with Epistemology
7
Epistemology in Feminist Science Studies Causes for Concern
25
Feminist Epistemology and Evolutionary Theory
47
Kellers Epistemological Reflections on Gender and Science
67
From Objectivism to Relativism in Feminist Science Studies
85
A Pragmatist Davidsonian Perspective
101
Feminist Science Studies from a Pragmatist Perspective
115
A Pragmatist Case Study Back to the Theory of Evolution
129
Works Cited
149
Index
161
About the Author
167
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About the author (2003)

Sharyn Clough is assistant professor of philosophy at Oregon State University.

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