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ERIC Number: ED477740
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Dec
Pages: 26
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
What Does (E)pistemology Have To Offer Feminists?
Thayer-Bacon, Barbara J.
Since traditional epistemology has not been able to present a generality but rather has represented a male perspective as if it is general, neutral, and inclusive of women, then there is the possibility of offering a feminist epistemology. Thus, the critique of the tradition has to come first, to create a space where feminists can begin to actually do constructive and reconstructive work in epistemology. That work is just beginning to emerge, and this paper's goal is to contribute to that effort. The plan is to consider epistemology specifically in terms of its traditional meaning and the androcentric basis embedded in that meaning. The paper presents the feminist criticism of traditional epistemology and suggested corrections. It discusses Lorraine Code's concerns for a responsibilist epistemology, and Sandra Harding's feminist standpoint epistemology. It considers the advice of Charlotte Haddock Seigfried who concludes there can be no feminist epistemology and advises feminists to "abandon the misguided epistemological project we've inherited, rather than continue tinkering with it." The paper concludes by recommending co-opting epistemology and removing its absolute status, even in its non-vulgar form, in exchange for a qualified relativist status. It reclaims the value and importance of being able to make judgments and presents arguments based on criteria that are socially constructed and therefore open to criticism and improvement. It keeps in check epistemology's will to transcendental power and its desire to embrace dualisms such as knower/known, mind/body, theory/practice, subject/object. (Contains 9 notes and 35 references.) (BT)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A