ALISON WYLIE
Department of Philosophy
University of Washington

M396 Savery Hall, Box 353350
Seattle, WA 98195
   (206) 543-5873
   aw26@u.washington.edu


RESEARCH
INTERESTS

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PUBLICATIONS
& PRESENTATIONS

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CONFERENCES
& WORKSHOPS

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COURSES



My areas of specialization are philosophy of the social and historical sciences, specifically archaeology, and feminist philosophy of science. I'm interested in how archaeologists establish knowledge claims about the cultural past, and in whether (or in what form) ideals of objectivity can be sustained given feminist arguments for recognizing the central role that contextual values play in the research process. In both cases, I argue, the answers lie in an analysis of evidential reasoning. To explain how evidential constraints operate in archaeology I have developed models of analogical inference, hypothesis testing, and strategies of triangulation and scaffolding that turn on the use of background knowledge. And to explore the epistemic role of standpoint-specific interests and contextual values in the sciences, I am currently engaged in a study of feminist research programs in the social sciences.
  • For a more detailed description of these interests see Research Interests.
  • For a short form CV see PDF.

  • News and Current Projects

    SWIP Distinguished Woman of the Year - 2013

    I was recently honored as the 2013 Distinguished Woman Philospher of Year by the Society for Women in Philosophy. For podcasts and photos from the SWIP award session at the December 2013 Eastern Division APA meetings in Baltimore, click here.


    Durham University, Department of Philosophy

    I am delighted to be joining colleagues at Durham University; I accepted a one-third appointment in the Department of Philosophy this past summer and will be in residence for the Fall term 2014. Durham University is home to the Centre for the Ethics of Cultural Heritage (CHECH), and the newly established Centre for Humanities Engaging Science and Society (CHESS).




    Upcoming visit to ANU - April-May 2014

    I will be a Visiting Fellow in the School of Philosophy at the Australian National University for four weeks this April and May. The Centre for the Foundations of Science at the University of Sydney is organizing a workshop on "Evidence in Historical Science: Rock, Bone and Ruin" while I am in Australia (May 8-9, 2014). 




    Evidential Reasoning in Archaeology: Best Practices and Object Lessons
    A case-based project on norms of evidential reasoning embodied in archaeological practice. This is a collaborative work in progress with Robert Chapman (Archaeology Department, University of Reading): a monograph, From the Ground Up: Evidential Reasonong in Archaeology (Bloomsbury), and an edited volume, Material Evidence: Learning from Archaeological Practice (Routledge) inspired by the 2010 Leverhulme Workshop on Evidential Reasoning at Reading University.


    Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage - iPinCH
    A seven-year SSHRCC-funded Major Collaborative Research Initiative, hosted by Simon Fraser University. The goal of this project is to document and address intellectual property  issues in cultural heritage raised by emergent local and global interpretations of culture, rights, and knowledge. I am a member of the iPinCH research team and co-chair, with Sonya Atalay (University of Massachutesetts, Amherst), of the Research Ethics Working Group.

    Science Studies Network - SSNet
    An interdisciplinary forum for colleagues at the University of Washington who share interests in science, technology and society studies (STSS), founded in Fall 2007. SSNet supports a range of STSS initiatives, most recently a BioSecurities working group (2013-2014), a two-year series of colloquia, workshops and summer research consortia onBiological Futures in a Globalized World (2011-2013; see below) and, in past years, a
    speaker series on "Representations in Science" (2009-2010), and a biweekly colloquium on "Democratizing Science" (2008-2009).  Currently active nodes in our local network include a weekly Colloquium in History of Science and STS, and a Philosophy of Science reading group.

    Philosophy of Social Science Roundtable
    I am a founding member of the Philosophy of Social Science Roundtable and have served on the annual meeting program committee
    with Paul Roth (University of California - Santa Cruz) and James Bohman (St. Louis University) since the inception of the Roundtable in 1998, now joined by Mark Risjord (Emery University),  Steven Turner (University of South Florida) and David Henderson (University of Nebraska, Lincoln). We co-edit an annual Roundtable special issue of Philosophy of the Social Sciences. We convened the March 2011 meeting of the Roundtable in Paris which proved to be a catalyst for the formation of the European Network for the Philosophy of the Social Sciences. ENPOSS now sponsors an annual conference and every second or third year we co-sponsor a joint ENPOSS/Roundtable. I will be hosting the next Roundtable at the University of Washington in May 2015 - check back for updates!
  • for the North American Roundtable see Philosophy of Social Science Roundtable  
  • for the European Network see ENPOSS

  • Recent Projects


    Institute for Advanced Study, University of Durham (UK): I was a Visiting Fellow at IAS in the Fall term 2012, where I joined a diverse group of scholars working on topics related to the annual theme of “Time."

  • Durham IAS: Fellows program / project abstract
  • King's College HistorySPOT presentation on "Negotiating the Past" (November 2012): Podcast
  • American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division
    I served as President of the APA Pacific Division in 2011-2012, and gave the Presidential Address at the Spring meetings in Seattle (April 2012). A podcast of this lecture is available online, and the text of the lecture appeared in the November 2012 issue of the APA Poceedings
    .
  • "Feminist Philosophy of Science: Standpoint Matters": abstract / audio podcast
  • Hypatia: Journal of Feminist Philosophy
    I recently completed a five-year term as editor of Hypatia (2008-2013), working
    with Lori Gruen as co-editor in the first two years, with Linda Martín Alcoff (Hunter College) and Ann Cudd (University of Kansas) as area co-editors in the last three years, and with Sharyn Clough (Oregon State University) as book review editor throughout. The editorial office had been hosted by the Simpson Center for the Humanities at the University of Washington since July 2008; it moved to Villanova University in June 2013 when the new editors, Sally Scholz (Villanova University) and Shelley Wilcox (San Francisco State University) began their editorial term.
  • for Hypatia news and updates, see the Hypatia editorial office website
  • for Hypatia Reviews Online, see HRO
  • for current contents, subscription information, and permissions: Hypatia at Wiley-Blackwell
  • Biological Futures in a Globalized World
    BFGW is a program of research and teaching projects hosted by the Simpson Center for the Humanities (University of Washington) in partnership with the Center for Biological Futures at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute. In the first year of the project, 2011-2012, we undertook an inventory of UW-based teaching resources in research ethics for the non-medical sciences and we initiated three research ethics pilot courses in 2012-2013. We convened Summer Research Consortia in 2011 and 2012, and a workshop on Synthetic Biology pdf in November 2012, and currently support an initiative on "Biosecurities (2013-2014). 


    • for information on Biological Futures events and projects see: BFGW website
    • a summary of the July 2013 project report is available here


    Recent Publications

    Books, Journal Special Issues and Features, Reports
    • Hypatia thematic clusters: Women in Philosophy: The Costs of Exclusion, and Epistemic Justice, Ignorance, and Procedural Objectivity (editor), Hypatia 26.2 (2011).
    • Feminist Legacies/Feminist Futures, Hypatia 25th Anniversary Special Issue, co-edited with Lori Gruen, Hypatia, 25.4 (2010). 25th Anniversary Issue
    • A More Social Epistemology: Decision Vectors, Epistemic Fairness, and Consensus in Solomon’s Social Empiricism, special issue of Perspectives on Science 16.3 (2008). Project Muse 
    • Value-Free Science? Ideals and Illusions co-edited with Harold Kincaid and John Dupre, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2007. OUP website 
    • Doing Archaeology as a Feminist, co-edited with Margaret W. Conkey, special issue of the Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, Volume 14.3 (2007). SpringerLink 
    • Women, Work and the Academy: Strategies for Responding to ‘Post-Civil Rights Era’ Gender Discrimination, co-authored with Janet R. Jakobsen and Gisela Fosado, New Feminist Solutions, Barnard Center for Research on Women, 2007. Conference website / Report PDF
    • When Difference Makes a Difference: Epistemic Diversity and Dissent: special issue of Episteme: Journal of Social Epistemology 3.1-2 (2006). Episteme website 
    • Thinking From Things: Essays in the Philosophy of Archaeology, University of California Press, Berkeley CA, 2002. UCPress website

    Selected Articles and Chapters
    • "Hypatia: On a Collective Undertaking," Editors' pick, The Philosopher's Magazine (TPM) 3rd Quarter (2013): 107-111. PDF
    • “Feminist Philosophy of Science: Standpoint Matters,” Presidential Address, Pacific Division APA, in Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 86.2 (2012): 47- 76
    • “Interdisciplinary Practice: Archaeology and Philosophy”: in Archaeology in the Making: Conversations Through a Discipline, edited by William Rathje, Michael Shanks, and Christopher Witmore, Routledge, 2012, pp. 93-121.
    • “’Do Not Do Unto Others…’: Cultural Misrecognition and the Harms of Appropriation in an Open Source World,” co-authored with George Nicholas: in Appropriating the Past: Philosophical Perspectives on the Practice of Archaeology, edited by Geoffrey Scarre and Robin Coningham, Cambridge University Press, 2012, pp. 195-221.
    • “The Feminism Question in Science: What Does it Mean to ‘Do Social Science as a Feminist’?”, Handbook of Feminist Research, Second Edition, edited by Sharlene Hesse-Biber, Sage, 2012, pp. 544-556. (First edition, 2007.)
    • “Critical Distance: Stabilizing Evidential Claims in Archaeology," in Evidence, Inference and Enquiry, edited by Philip Dawid, William Twining, and Mimi Vasilaki, British Academy Publications, Oxford University Press (2011).
    • "Standpoint (still) Matters: Research on Women, Work, and the Academy,” in Feminist Epistemology and Philosophy of Science: Power in Knowledge, edited by Heidi Grasswick, Springer, 2011, pp. 157-179.
    • “The Appropriation of Archaeological Finds,” co-authored with George Nicholas, in The Ethics of Cultural Appropriation edited by James O. Young and Conrad G. Brunk, Blackwell, 2011, pp. 11-54.
    • Feminist Perspectives on Science”: co-authored with Elizabeth Potter and Wenda Bauchspies, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2010.  Available online: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/feminist-science/
    •  Hypatia: A Journal of Her Own,” American Philosophical Association Newsletter, Feminism and Philosophy 9.2 (Fall 2010): 20-24.
    • “Archaeological Facts in Transit: The ‘Eminent Mounds’ of Central North America”, in How Well do ‘Facts’ Travel?: The Dissemination of Reliable Knowledge, edited by Peter Howlett and Mary S. Morgan, Cambridge University Press, 2010, pp. 301-322.
    • "Social Constructionist Arguments in Harding's Science and Social Inequality,” Hypatia 23.4 (2008): 201-211.
    • “What’s Feminist about Gender Archaeology?” Que(e)rying Archaeology: Proceedings of the 36th Annual Chacmool Conference, University of Calgary Archaeology Association, 2009, pp. 282-289.
    • “Agnotology in/of Archaeology,” Agnotology: The Making and Unmaking of Ignorance, edited by Robert N. Proctor and Londa Schiebinger; Stanford University Press, 2008, pp. 183-205.