Altogether Now: A Virtue-Theoretic Approach to Pluralism in Feminist Epistemology

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Abstract

In this paper I develop and support a feminist virtue epistemology and bring it into conversation with feminist contextual empiricism and feminist standpoint theory. The virtue theory I develop is centered on the virtue of epistemic trustworthiness, which foregrounds the social/political character of knowledge practices and products, and the differences between epistemic agencies that perpetuate, on the one hand, and displace, on the other hand, normative patterns of unjust epistemic discrimination. I argue that my view answers important questions regarding epistemic agency which both contextual empiricism and standpoint theory leave open, but need to have answered. Feminist virtue epistemology thus emerges as providing an integrative framework for pluralism in feminist epistemology that illuminates connections among theories through engagement with the lived experiences, aspirations, and epistemic work of feminist epistemic agents.