Theses Doctoral

Science in a Sexist Society

Zhao, Helen

The idea of a feminist science has been treated as settled knowledge. Philosophers of science have, implicitly or explicitly, defined it as a science guided by feminist values. For a long time, feminist philosophers were concerned with defending its conceptual possibility (Longino, 1987), and they largely succeeded; the value-free ideal is in retreat (Holman and Wilholt, 2022). But now that they may finally unclench from their defensive posture, what comes next for their positive program to theorize feminist science?

The dissertation takes up this question and attempts to clarify and advance new research questions. I ask: what follows if we take seriously the constraints under which feminist scientists must labor? Which values in science are feminist? What does it mean for science to be ‘value-laden’? Are feminist values epistemically or normatively indispensable? If not, how do we justify the importance of doing science as a feminist?


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Kitcher, Philip
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
July 5, 2023