Values in the Social Sciences: The Case of Feminist Research

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


I introduce three models for understanding how feminist values can legitimately guide research in the social sciences. The three models are based on three arguments against the value-free ideal: an argument based on pluralism with respect to epistemic values; an argument based on inductive risk; and an argument based on value-laden background assumptions. I argue that Miriam Solomon’s and Helen Longino’s social epistemologies can be seen as attempts to implement the liberal democratic values of equality and neutrality in science policy. Given this interpretation, their social epistemologies give both epistemic and political justification for the view that some research projects can be committed to feminist values explicitly.


Feminist epistemology Values in science Philosophy of the social sciences Elizabeth Anderson Ann Cudd 



I wish to thank Brad Wray for his comments on an earlier version of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

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