Advertisement

Feminist and Non-feminist Philosophy of Biology: Parallels, Differences, and Prospects for Future Engagements

  • Lynn Hankinson-Nelson
Chapter
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science book series (BSPS, volume 317)

Abstract

I identify several substantive parallels in the issues of interest, and methodological and conceptual frameworks employed, in the research traditions of feminist and non-feminist philosophy of biology. I also identify several substantive differences in the emphases of the two traditions, including that biological research and hypotheses focusing on sex and gender raise political and ethical issues that non-feminist philosophers of biology rarely address. I conclude that a growing interest in philosophy of science in promoting “socially responsible science”, and engaging in “socially relevant” and “socially responsible” philosophy of science, should make it possible for the traditions to more fruitfully engage one another.

Keywords

Androcentrism Contextualism Gendered metaphors Science and politics Sexual selection Socially responsible philosophy of science 

References

  1. Anderson, E. (2004). Uses of value judgments in science: A general argument, with lessons from a case study of feminist research on divorce. Hypatia, 19(1), 1–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Biology and Gender Study Group. (1989). The importance of feminist critique for contemporary cell biology. In N. Tuana (Ed.), Feminism and science (pp. 172–187). Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Bleier, R. (1984). Science and gender: A critique of biology and its theories on women. Elmsford, NY: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  4. Bleier, R. (Ed.). (1986). Feminist approaches to science. New York: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  5. Buller, D. (2005). Adapting minds: Evolutionary psychology and the persistent quest for human nature. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  6. Buss, D. (2004). Evolutionary psychology: The new science of the mind. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar
  7. Darwin, C. (1871). The descent of man and selection in relation to sex. London: John Murray.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Drea, C., & Wallen, K. (2003). Female sexuality and the myth of male control. In C. Travis (Ed.), Evolution, gender, and rape. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  9. Fausto-Sterling, A. (1985/1992). Myths of gender: Biological theories about women and men. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  10. Fehr, C. (2004). Feminism and science: Mechanism without reductionism. National Women’s Studies Association Journal, 16, 136–156.Google Scholar
  11. Fehr, C. (2011). Feminist philosophy of biology. In E. N. Zalta (Ed.), The stanford encyclopedia of philosophy. http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2011/entries/feminist-philosophy-biology. Accessed Jan 5, 2015.
  12. Fehr, C., & Plaisance, K. (2010). Making philosophy of science more socially relevant: An introduction. Synthese, 177(3), 301–316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gilbert, S., & Rader, K. (2001). Revisiting women, gender, and feminism in developmental biology. In A. Creager, E. Lunbeck, & L. Schiebinger (Eds.), Feminism in twentieth-century science, technology and medicine (pp. 73–97). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  14. Haack, S. (1993). Epistemological reflections of an old feminist. Reason Papers, 18, 31–43.Google Scholar
  15. Haraway, D. (1988). Situated knowledges: The science question in feminism and the privilege of partial perspective. Feminist Studies, 14, 575–599.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Haraway, D. (1989). Primate visions: Gender, race, and nature in the world of modern science. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  17. Harding, S. (1986). The science question in feminism. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Hrdy, S. B. (1986). Empathy, polyandry, and the myth of the coy female. In R. Bleier (Ed.), Feminist approaches to science (pp. 119–146). New York: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  19. Hubbard, R. (1983). Have only men evolved? In S. Harding & M. Hintikka (Eds.), Discovering reality: Feminist perspectives on epistemology, metaphysics, methodology, and philosophy of science (pp. 45–70). Dordrecht: Reidel.Google Scholar
  20. Kaplan, J. (2010). When socially determined categories make biological realities: Understanding black/white health disparities. Monist, 93(2), 283–299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Keller, E. F. (1985). Reflections on gender and science. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Kitcher, P. (1984). 1953 and all that: A tale of two sciences. The Philosophical Review, 93(3), 335–373.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kitcher, P. (1985). Vaulting ambition: Sociobiology and the quest for human nature. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  24. Kitcher, P. (1996). The lives to come: The genetic revolution and human possibilities. New York: Simon and Schuster.Google Scholar
  25. Lewontin, R. C. (1993). Biology as ideology: The doctrine of DNA. New York: Harper Perennial.Google Scholar
  26. Lloyd, E. A. (1994). The structure and confirmation of evolutionary theory. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Lloyd, E. A. (2005). Why the gene will not return. Philosophy of Science, 72, 287–310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Longino, H. E. (1990). Science as social knowledge: Values and objectivity in scientific inquiry. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Martin, E. (1991). The egg and the sperm: How science has constructed a romance based on stereotypical male-female roles. Signs, 16, 485–501.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Nelson, L. H. (1990). Who knows: From Quine to feminist empiricism. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Nelson, L. H. (2003). The descent of evolutionary explanations: Darwinian vestiges in the social sciences. In S. P. Turner & P. A. Roth (Eds.), The Blackwell guide to the philosophy of the special sciences (pp. 258–290). London: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  32. Nelson, L. H. & Wylie, A. (2004). Special issue of hypatia on feminism and science. Hypatia, 19(1).Google Scholar
  33. Okruhlik, K. (2004). Logical empiricism, feminism, and Neurath’s auxiliary motive. Hypatia, 19(1), 48–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Pinnick, C., Koertge, N., & Almeder, R. (Eds.). (2003). Scrutinizing feminist epistemology: An examination of gender in science. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Richardson, R. (2007). Evolutionary psychology as maladapted psychology. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  36. Ruse, M. (2008). Darwinism and its discontents. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  37. Ruse, M. (2013). The Gaia hypothesis: Science on a pagan planet. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Schiebinger, L. (1999). Has feminism changed science?. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  39. Sober, E. (Ed.). (2006). Conceptual issues in evolutionary biology (3rd ed.). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  40. Sober, E., & Wilson, D. S. (1999). Unto others: The evolution and psychology of unselfish behavior. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Spencer, H. G., & Masters, J. C. (1992). Sexual selection: Contemporary debates. In E. F. Keller & E. A. Lloyd (Eds.), Keywords in evolutionary biology (pp. 294–301). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  42. Thornhill, R., & Palmer, C. (2000). A natural history of rape. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  43. Vickers, A. L., & Kitcher, P. (2003). Popsociobiology reborn: The evolutionary psychology of sex and violence. In C. Travis (Ed.), Evolution, gender, and rape (pp. 139–168). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  44. Wilson, E. O. (1975). Sociobiology: The new synthesis. Boston: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  45. Wilson, M., & Daly, M. (1998). Lethal and nonlethal violence against wives and the evolutionary psychology of male sexual proprietariness. In R. E. Dobash & R. P. Dobash (Eds.), Violence against women: International and cross-disciplinary perspectives (pp. 199–230). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of WashingtonSeattleUSA

Personalised recommendations