What is feminist philosophy of science?

Feminist philosophy of science consists of analyses of scientific methodology and standards for truth. Its focus has been on the ways that the idea of objectivity have excluded knowledge of importance to women.

Who are some key feminist philosophers of science?

Sandra Harding (1935-) addresses questions of whether women have privileged ways of knowing, in Third World, as well as Euro-American societies, whether the exclusion of women from science can be corrected within science, and whether scientific knowledge is itself misogynistic. Harding's groundbreaking work includes The Science Question in Feminism (1986) and Whose Science? Whose Knowledge? (1991). Janet

Are all philosophical feminists women?

By no means. A number of male philosophers have endeavored to both learn and support feminism and include feminist subjects in their own more traditional work. These men have published such books as Rethinking Masculinity: Philosophical Explorations in Light of Feminism (1992), edited by Larry May and Robert Strikwerda; Men Doing Feminism (1998), edited by Tom Digby; and Michael A. Slote's The Ethics of Care and Empathy (2007).

There were women's separatist social movements in the 1970s, but this has never been a viable option in academia. The radical feminist philosopher of religion Mary Daly (1936-), who taught at Boston College for 33 years, was forced to retire in 1999 for barring men from some of her classes. Daly was always on thin ice at this Jesuit institution, especially after the publication of her first book, The Church and the Second Sex (1968). Daly's work is about how men have appropriated the roles and power of women in religion, particularly in Catholic ritual.

Philosophical feminism has evinced strong support for lesbian feminism on the grounds that lesbians have been oppressed in society and that lesbians may recognize the personhood of women more easily than men. Nevertheless, freedom of sexual preference entails that heterosexuality remains a respected preference, just as freedom of choice in abortion has not led feminists to invalidate, on moral or political grounds, pregnancy and childbirth. On motherhood, for example, Sara Ruddick's Maternal Thinking: Toward a Politics of Peace (1990) shows how childcare develops distinctive ways of thinking, although childbirth and rearing is not limited to heterosexual women. Much of French feminist writing assumes strong male-female sexual differences.

Kourany (1943-) edited The Gender of Science (2002) and Scientific Knowledge (1987, 1998), which relate some of the feminist critique of traditional science to standing issues in mainstream philosophy of science.

What has been important in second wave feminist political philosophy?

The concept of patriarchy, or rule by "fathers," throughout human history sparked much social and textual analysis, which was brought to theoretical completion by Carole Pateman in The Sexual Contract (1988). Pateman argued that when modern social contract theory was constructed by Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) and John Locke (1632-1704), women were left out of the political equation and relegated to private life.

Iris Young (1949-2006), a professor of philosophy at the University of Chicago, addressed the connection between female social roles and political structures in Justice and the Politics of Difference (1990) and Inclusion and Democracy (2000). Young also addressed women's disempowered bodily comportment in her 1980 essay "Throwing Like a Girl" (included in a book by the same name in 1990). In addition, feminist philosophers have welcomed and discussed the work of University of Michigan Law School professor Catherine MacKinnon.

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