Values and Evidence in Feminist Philosophy and in Neuroscience

  • Robyn BluhmEmail author
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science book series (BSPS, volume 317)


Feminist critics of neuroscience have often focused on research that searches for a neural basis for purported sex/gender differences in behavior or psychological characteristics. Their analyses have shown that neither the differences themselves, nor the neurobiological explanations of how the differences arise, are well-supported by the evidence. To date, feminist philosophy of science has largely focused on changing these and other problematic research programs by changing the social practices of scientists (both the composition of science communities and the practices by which these communities produce knowledge). I argue that, instead, we should concentrate on developing ways to critically assess the way that social beliefs about gender permeate and shape empirical research. This will allow us to better understand why scientists to continue to draw on problematic research studies and theories in their search for sex/gender differences—in spite of both specific feminist criticisms and broader social changes in the way that we understand gender and gender differences.


Neuroscience Brain organization theory Sex/gender differences Feminist empiricism Feminist philosophy of science Science and values 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Michigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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