PHIL 450A Discussion Questions on the Politics of Epistemology
1. Does Code think that epistemological principles are universal or parochial (i.e., local)? Explain.
2. What does Code mean by her claim that the sex of the knower is epistemologically significant? Does she think that there are distinctly female ways of knowing? Explain.
3. Does Longino believe there are distinctively female ways of knowing? Explain.
4. What does Longino believe are the feminist values in inquiry? What are the non-feminist values that she identifies? What is the cognitive goal of feminist researchers? What is the relation between the goal and the feminist values in inquiry?
5. What is feminist standpoint theory? How does it differ from the contextualism that Longino favors?
6. What is naïve feminist empiricism? How does it differ from the contextualism that Longino favors?
7. What are the two kinds of feminist epistemology that Haack identifies? Which does she endorse?
8. (a)What is the Underdetermination Thesis? (b) Why does Longino believe that it supports feminist epistemology? (c) Why does Haack disagree? (d) What is the Value-Ladenness Thesis? (e) How might the Value-Ladenness Thesis be used to support feminist epistemology? (f) Why does Haack disagree? (g) Explain why Longino's feminist epistemology is parochial and why Haack's epistemology is not.
9. What is Haack's reply to Longino's account of feminist values in inquiry?
10. What does Rorty mean by replacing objectivity with solidarity?
11. What are the two senses of "rational" that Rorty identifies? Which one does he endorse and which one does he oppose?
12. Is Rorty's conception of truth and rationality universal or parochial?
13. What does Rorty mean by "progress" in inquiry?
14. What does Levin mean by "objectivity"?
15. What objection does Levin raise to Rorty's position?
16. What is Levin's criticism of feminist epistemology? Why does she claim: "There can't be evidence that all investigation is biased"?(604)
17. What is the logical problem that Levin identifies with the various nihilist and skeptical positions that she analyzes? Why is this not the same as BonJour's Intellectual Suicide Thesis?