What Can She Know?: Feminist Theory and the Construction of Knowledge

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Cornell University Press, 1991 - Social Science - 349 pages

In this lively and accessible book Lorraine Code addresses one of the most controversial questions in contemporary theory of knowledge, a question of fundamental concern for feminist theory as well: Is the sex of the knower epistemologically significant? Responding in the affirmative, Code offers a radical alterantive to mainstream philosophy's terms for what counts as knowledge and how it is to be evaluated.

Code first reviews the literature of established epistemologies and unmasks the prevailing assumption in Anglo-American philosophy that "the knower" is a value-free and ideologically neutral abstraction. Approaching knowledge as a social construct produced and validated through critical dialogue, she defines the knower in light of a conception of subjectivity based on a personal relational model. Code maps out the relevance of the particular people involved in knowing: their historical specificity, the kinds of relationships they have, the effects of social position and power on those relationships, and the ways in which knowledge can change both knower and known. In an exploration of the politics of knowledge that mainstream epistemologies sustain, she examines such issues as the function of knowledge in shaping institutions and the unequal distribution of cognitive resources.

What Can She Know? will raise the level of debate concerning epistemological issues among philosophers, political and social scientists, and anyone interested in feminist theory.

 

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I love this book because of Code's great ideas! She has amazing insite and her perspective/knowledge is unarguably superb.
However, I also hate this book! I think she needs to use more common
language if she expects to get through to people. I was always taught to explain things in clear English. "Don't use words that you don't normally use when talking to people just because it makes you sound smart". Many words used in this book take on old meanings and could easily be substituted by alternative words that would provide clairity.
In addition, who ever edited this thing should be out of a job! so much redundant prose and difficult sentence structure that could have been fixed!!!!!
Code is the brains/creativity and there is plenty of that in this book. But the making of a book involves a team and her team sucks.
 

Contents

CHAPTER
27
CHAPTER THREE
71
CHAPTER FOUR
110
CHAPTER FIVE
173
CHAPTER
222
CHAPTER SEVEN
265
CHAPTER EIGHT
314
Index
339
Copyright

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About the author (1991)

Lorraine Code is Associate Professor of Philosophy at York University.

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