The context distinction: controversies over feminist philosophy of science

Original paper in Philosophy of Science

Abstract

The “context of discovery” and “context of justification” distinction has been used by Noretta Koertge and Lynn Hankinson Nelson in debates over the legitimacy of feminist approaches to philosophy of science. Koertge uses the context distinction to focus the conversation by barring certain approaches. I contend this focus masks points of true disagreement about the nature of justification. Nonetheless, Koertge raises important questions that have been too quickly set aside by some. I conclude that the context distinction should not be used to block feminist philosophy of science because the use of the context distinction is deeply ambiguous, masking underlying debates about naturalism and the nature of justification.

Keywords

Context of discovery Context of justification Values in science Justification Feminist epistemology 

References

  1. Almeder, R. (2003). Equity feminism and academic freedom. In C. Pinnick, N. Koertge & R. Almeder (Eds.), Scrutinizing feminist epistemology: An examination of gender in science. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Anderson, E. (2004). “How not to criticize feminist epistemology: Review of Pinnick, Koertge, and Almeder’s scrutinizing feminist epistemology” (self published on the Internet: http://www-personal.umich.edu/%7Eeandersn/hownotreview.html).
  3. Anderson, E. (1995). Feminist epistemology: An interpretation and a defense. Hypatia, 10(3), 50–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Antony, L. (2002). In L. M. Antony & C. Witt (Eds.), “Quine as feminist: The radical import of naturalized epistemology,” a mind of one’s own: Essays on reason and objectivity (2nd ed., pp. 93–109). Boulder: Westview.Google Scholar
  5. Boghossian, P. (1998). What the Sokal Hoax ought to teach us. In N. Koertge (Ed.), A house built on sand: Exposing postmodernist myths about science. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Campbell, R. (1998). Illusions of paradox: A feminist epistemology naturalized. Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.Google Scholar
  7. Campbell, R. (2003). “Feminist epistemology naturalized” in Nelson and Nelson (2003).Google Scholar
  8. Diamond, M. C., Dowling, G. A., & Johnson, R. E. (1981). Morphologic cerebral cortical asymmetry in mate and female rats. Experimental Neurology, 71, 261–68.Google Scholar
  9. Douglas, H. (2000). Inductive risk and values in science. Philosophy of Science, 67, 559–579.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Geschwind, N., & Behan, P. (1982). Left-handedness: Association with immune disease, migraine and developmental learning disorder. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 79, 5097–5100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Geschwind, N., & Behan, P. (1984). Laterality, hormones, and immunity. In N. Geschwind & M. Galaburda (Eds.), Cerebral dominance: The biological foundations. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Graham, L. (1993). Science in Russian and the Soviet union. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Graham, L. (1998). What have we learned about science and technology from the Russian experience? Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Gross, P., & Levitt, N. (1994). Higher superstition. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Haack, S. (1993). “Knowledge and propaganda: Reflections of an old feminist.” Partisan Review: 556–564.Google Scholar
  16. Haack, S. (1996). Towards a sober sociology of science. In P. Gross, N. Levitt, & M. Lewis (Eds.), The flight from science and reason. New York: The New York Academy of Sciences.Google Scholar
  17. Harding, S. (1986). The science question in feminism. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Harraway, D. (1989). Primate visions. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  19. Jarovsky, D. (1970). The Lysenko affair. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Keller, E. F. (1983). A feeling for the organism. San Francisco: W.H. Freeman.Google Scholar
  21. Koertge, N. (1993). “Ideology, heuristics and rationality in the context of discovery.” In S. French & H. Kamminga (Eds.), Correspondence, invariance, and heuristics: Essays in honour of Heinz Post (pp. 125–136). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  22. Koertge, N. (1996a). Wrestling with the social construction. In P. Gross, N. Levitt, & M. Lewis (Eds.), The flight from science and reason. New York: The New York Academy of Sciences.Google Scholar
  23. Koertge, N. (1996b). Feminist epistemology: Beating an un-dead horse. In P. Gross, N. Levitt, & M. Lewis (Eds.), The flight from science and reason. New York: The New York Academy of Sciences.Google Scholar
  24. Koertge, N. (2000). “Science, values, and the value of science.” Philosophy of science, vol. 67, supplement. Proceedings of the 1998 Biennial Meetings of the Philosophy of Science Association. Part II: Symposia Papers (Sep., 2000), pp. S45–S57.Google Scholar
  25. Koertge, N. (2003a). Gender and the genealogy of scientific discoveries. In C. Pinnick, N. Koertge & R. Almeder (Eds.), Scrutinizing feminist epistemology: An examination of gender in science. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Koertge, N. (2003b). Feminist values and the value of science. In C. Pinnick, N. Koertge & R. Almeder (Eds.), Scrutinizing feminist epistemology: An examination of gender in science. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Kuhn, T. (1977). “Objectivity, values, and theory choice.” In The essential tension. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  28. Kukla, R. (2008). “Naturalizing objectivity.” Perspectives on Science, 16(3).Google Scholar
  29. Longino, H. (1990). Science as social knowledge. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Meiland, J. (2001). In R. Audi (Ed.), “Category mistake,” Cambridge dictionary of philosophy (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Mueller, A., & Fine, A. (2004). Realism, beyond miracles. In B. Manahim (Ed.), Contemporary philosophy in focus: Hilary Putman. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Nelson, L. H. (1990). Who knows: From Quine to a feminist empiricism. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Nelson, L. H. (1995a). “The very idea of feminist epistemology.” Hypatia, 10(3).Google Scholar
  34. Nelson, L. H. (1995b). “Feminist naturalized philosophy of science.” Synthese, 104.Google Scholar
  35. Nelson, J. & Nelson L. H. (1994). “No rush to judgment.” Monist, 77(4).Google Scholar
  36. Nelson, J., & Nelson, L. H. (2003). Feminist interpretations of W. V. Quine. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press.Google Scholar
  37. Pinnick, C. L. (2003). Feminist epistemology: Implications for Philosophy of Science. In C. Pinnick, N. Koertge & R. Almeder (Eds.), Scrutinizing feminist epistemology: An examination of gender in science. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
  38. Popper, K. ([1963] 2002). Conjectures and refutations. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  39. Potter, E. (2001). Gender and Boyle’s law of gases. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  40. Putnam, H. ([1962a] 1975b). “The analytic and the synthetic.” In Philosophical papers II. Mind, language, and reality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Putnam, H. ([1962b] 1975a). “It ain’t necessarily so.” In Philosophical papers I. Mathematics, matter, and method. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  42. Reichenbach, H. (1938). Experience and prediction. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Ryle, G. ([1949] 2000). The concept of mind. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  44. Schickore, J., & Steinle, F. (Eds.). (2006). Revisiting discovery and justification: Historical and philosophical perspectives on the context distinction. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  45. Sheehen, H. (1985). Marxism and the philosophy of science: A critical history. Atlantic Highlands: Humanities Press.Google Scholar
  46. Soble, A. (2003). Keller on gender, science, and mcclintock. In C. Pinnick, N. Koertge & R. Almeder (Eds.), Scrutinizing feminist epistemology: An examination of gender in science. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
  47. Thomasson, A. (2008). “Categories”. The Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy. E. N. Zalta (Ed.), Fall edition, forthcoming URL = <http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2008/entries/categories/>.

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Linfield CollegeMcMinnvilleUSA

Personalised recommendations