Advertisement

Values in the Social Sciences: The Case of Feminist Research

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

Abstract

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.

Keywords

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

Notes

Acknowledgments

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

References

  1. Anderson, E. (1995). Knowledge, human interests, and objectivity in feminist epistemology. Philosophical Topics, 23, 7–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 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, 1–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Biddle, J. (2013). State of the field: Transient underdetermination and values in science. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 44, 124–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brown, M. B. (2009). Science in democracy: Expertise, institutions, and representations. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brown, M. (2013a). The source and status of values for socially responsible science. Philosophical Studies, 163(1), 67–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brown, M. (2013b). Values in science beyond underdetermination and inductive risk. Philosophy of Science, 80(5), 829–839.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Carrier, M., Howard, D., & Kourany, J. (Eds.). (2008). The challenge of the social and the pressure of practice: Science and values revisited. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.Google Scholar
  8. Chang, H. (2012). Is water H 2 O? Evidence, realism and pluralism. Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Clough, S. (2011). Gender and the hygiene hypothesis. Social Science and Medicine, 72, 486–493.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Collins, H., & Evans, R. (2002). The third wave of science studies: Studies of expertise and experience. Social Studies of Science, 32(2), 235–296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Crasnow, S. (2007). Feminist anthropology and sociology: Issues for social science. In S. P. Turner & M. W. Risjord (Eds.), Handbook of the philosophy of science: Philosophy of anthropology and sociology (pp. 755–789). Amsterdam: Elsevier.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Crasnow, S. (2009). Is standpoint theory a resource for feminist epistemology? Introduction. Hypatia, 24(4), 189–192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Crasnow, S. (2014). Feminist science studies: Reasoning from cases. Paper presented at the FEMMSS conference at the University of Waterloo, August 10–13.Google Scholar
  14. Cudd, A. (2005). How to explain oppression: Criteria of adequacy for normative explanatory theories. Philosophy of the Social Sciences, 35(1), 20–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cudd, A. (2006). Analyzing oppression. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Douglas, H. (2000). Inductive risk and values in science. Philosophy of Science, 67, 559–579.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Douglas, H. (2007). Rejecting the ideal of value-free science. In H. Kincaid, J. Dupré, & A. Wylie (Eds.), Value-free science? Ideals and illusions (pp. 120–139). Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Douglas, H. (2009). Science, policy, and the value-free ideal. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.Google Scholar
  19. Elliott, K. (2011a). Direct and indirect roles for values in science. Philosophy of Science, 78(2), 303–324.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Elliott, K. (2011b). Is a little pollution good for you? Incorporating societal values in environmental research. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Elliott, K. (2013). Douglas in values: From indirect roles to multiple goals. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 44, 375–383.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Elliott, K., & McKaughan, D. J. (2014). Nonepistemic values and the multiple goals of science. Philosophy of Science, 81(1), 1–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Fehr, C. (2011). Feminist philosophy of biology. In E. N. Zalta (Ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/feminist-philosophy-biology/. Accessed 15 Jan 2015.
  24. Harding, S. (Ed.). (2004). The feminist standpoint theory reader: Intellectual and political controversies. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  25. Hawthorne, S. (2010). Embedding values: How science and society jointly valence a concept—The case of ADHD. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 41, 21–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hempel, C. (1965). Science and human values. Aspects of scientific explanation (pp. 81–96). New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  27. Hempel, C. (1981). Turns in the evolution of the problem of induction. Synthese, 46, 389–404.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Intemann, K. (2001). Science and values: Are value judgments always irrelevant to the justification of scientific claims? Philosophy of Science, 68(3), S506–S518.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Intemann, K. (2005). Feminism, underdetermination, and values in science. Philosophy of Science, 72(5), 1001–1012.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Intemann, K. (2010). 25 years of feminist empiricism and standpoint theory: Where are we now? Hypatia, 25(4), 778–796.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Jeffrey, R. (1956). Valuation and acceptance of scientific hypotheses. Philosophy of Science, 23(3), 237–246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kappel, K. (2014). The proper role of science in liberal democracy. Paper presented at the conference on the Special Role of Science in Liberal Democracy, University of Copenhagen, November 21–22, 2013.Google Scholar
  33. Kincaid, H., Dupré, J., & Wylie, A. (Eds.). (2007). Value-free science? Ideals and illusions. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Kitcher, P. (1993). The advancement of science: Science without legend, objectivity without illusions. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Kitcher, P. (2001). Science, truth, and democracy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Kitcher, P. (2011). Science in a democratic society. New York: Prometheus Books.Google Scholar
  37. Kourany, J. (2010). Philosophy of science after feminism. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kuhn, T. (1977). Objectivity, value judgment, and theory choice. The essential tension: Selected studies in scientific tradition and change (pp. 320–339). Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  39. Lacey, H. (1999). Is science value free? Values and scientific understanding. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  40. Lacey, H. (2005). On the interplay of the cognitive and the social in scientific practices. Philosophy of Science, 72(5), 977–988.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Lacey, H. (2013). Rehabilitating neutrality. Philosophical Studies, 163, 77–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Longino, H. (1990). Science as social knowledge. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  43. Longino, H. (1995). Gender, politics, and the theoretical virtues. Synthese, 104(3), 383–397.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Longino, H. (2002). The fate of knowledge. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  45. Machamer, P., & Wolters, G. (Eds.) (2004). Science, values, and objectivity. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.Google Scholar
  46. McMullin, E. (1983). Values in science. In PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association, 1982(2), 3–28.Google Scholar
  47. de Melo-Martín, I., & Intemann, K. (2012). Interpreting evidence: Why values can matter as much as science. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 55(1), 59–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Mitchell, S. (2004). The prescribed and proscribed values in science policy. In P. Machamer & G. Wolters (Eds.), Science, values, and objectivity (pp. 245–255). Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.Google Scholar
  49. Richardson, S. (2010). Feminist philosophy of science: History, contributions and challenges. Synthese, 177, 337–362.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Risjord, M. (2007). Scientific change as political action: Franz Boas and the anthropology of race. Philosophy of the Social Sciences, 37(1), 24–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Rolin, K. (2006). The bias paradox in feminist standpoint epistemology. Episteme, 3(1–2), 125–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Rolin, K. (2009). Standpoint theory as a methodology for the study of power relations. Hypatia, 24(4), 218–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Rolin, K. (2012). Feminist philosophy of economics. In U. Mäki (Ed.), Handbook of the philosophy of science (Vol. 13, pp. 199–217). Philosophy of Economics Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  54. Rooney, P. (1992). On values in science: Is the epistemic/non-epistemic distinction useful? In PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association, 1992(1), 13–22.Google Scholar
  55. Root, M. (1993). Philosophy of social science: The methods, ideals, and politics of social inquiry. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  56. Rudner, R. (1953). The scientist qua scientist makes value judgments. Philosophy of Science, 20(1), 1–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Solomon, M. (2001). Social empiricism. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  58. Steel, D. (2010). Epistemic values and the argument from inductive risk. Philosophy of Science, 77(1), 14–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Steel, D. (2013). Acceptance, values, and inductive risk. Philosophy of Science, 80(5), 818–828.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Steele, K. (2012). The scientist qua policy advisor makes value judgments. Philosophy of Science, 79(5), 893–904.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Stewart, A. J., Copeland, A. P., Chester, N. L., Malley, J. E., & Barenbaum, N. B. (1997). Separating together: How divorce transforms families. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  62. Turner, S. (2009). Public sociology and democratic theory. In J. van Bouwel (Ed.), The social sciences and democracy (pp. 165–180). Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  63. Wilholt, T. (2009). Bias and values in scientific research. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 40, 92–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Wray, K. B. (2011). Kuhn’s evolutionary social epistemology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Wylie, A. (2003). Why standpoint theory matters: Feminist standpoint theory. In R. Figueroa & S. Harding (Eds.), Philosophical explorations of science, technology, and diversity (pp. 26–48). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  66. Wylie, A. (2007). The feminism question in science: What does it mean to “do social science as a feminist?”. In S. N. Hesse-Biber (Ed.), Handbook of feminist research: Theory and praxis (pp. 567–577). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  67. Wylie, A. (2012). Feminist philosophy of science: Standpoint matters. Presidential Address delivered at the Annual Meeting of the Pacific Division of the American Philosophical Association.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

Personalised recommendations