Feminist Interpretations of W.V. Quine by Lynn Hankinson Nelson, Jack Nelson

By Lynn Hankinson Nelson, Jack Nelson

As one of many preeminent philosophers of the 20 th century, W. V. Quine (1908–2000) made groundbreaking contributions to the philosophy of technology, mathematical good judgment, and the philosophy of language. This choice of essays examines Quine's perspectives, relatively his holism and naturalism, for his or her worth (and their obstacles) to feminist theorizing today.

Some members to this quantity see Quine as seriously hard easy tenets of the logico-empiricist culture within the philosophy of science—the analytic/synthetic contrast, verificationism, foundationalism—and settle for quite a few of his positions as capability assets for feminist critique. different individuals regard Quine as an unrepentant empiricist and, in contrast to feminists who search to exploit or expand his arguments, they interpret his positions as some distance much less radical and extra difficult.

In specific, critics and advocates of Quine's arguments that the philosophy of technology might be "naturalized"—understood and pursued as an firm non-stop with the sciences proper—disagree deeply approximately no matter if this sort of naturalized philosophy is "philosophy enough." principal concerns at stake in those disagreements mirror present questions of distinct curiosity to feminists and in addition bridge the analytic and postmodern traditions. They contain questions about no matter if and the way the philosophy of technological know-how, as a kind of perform, is or should be normative in addition to questions about the implications of Quine's philosophy of language for the transparency and balance of meaning.

In representing feminist philosophy centrally engaged with the analytic culture, this quantity is critical not just for what it contributes to the certainty of Quine and naturalized epistemology but in addition for what it accomplishes in operating opposed to restrictive conceptions of where of feminism in the discipline.

Aside from the editors, the members are Kathryn Pyne Addelson, Louise M. Antony, Richmond Campbell, Lorraine Code, Jane Duran, Maureen Linker, Phyllis Rooney, and Paul A. Roth.

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But she takes these dimensions to amplify the problems just noted. So practiced, Code argues, naturalized epistemology “will transform epistemology’s justiWcatory strategies,” but not in critically reXective ways. Code next turns to the positive project of her chapter, that of identifying a kind of naturalism that would “reclaim” its emancipatory promise. She recommends “a revisioned naturalism,” an epistemological approach the core assumptions of which are analogous with those that inform the discipline of ecology.

And this, we suggest, is holism at work and naturalism illustrated. qxd 6/5/03 11:11 AM Page 25 Introduction 25 II. Feminist Interpretations of Quine We noted at the outset of this introduction that analyses in the 1980s of Quine’s positions offered by Linda Martín Alcoff, Helen E. Longino, and Elizabeth Potter constituted important contributions to feminist philosophy of science and epistemology. The essays by Lynn Hankinson Nelson and Louise Antony (Chapters 1 and 2), published respectively in 1990 and 1994, were among the Wrst to undertake more extensive explorations of Quine’s positions in light of feminist scholarship.

Qxd 38 6/5/03 11:11 AM Page 38 Introduction the former. Rooney argues that feminist epistemologists are more concerned with the nature and consequences of their practices—what she cites Helen E. Longino as identifying as the question of what it means “to do epistemology as a feminist”—than arriving at some speciWc theory of science or knowledge. She maintains that feminists engage with practicing scientists (something naturalists prescribe but rarely partake in), and assume a more critical stance toward scientiWc practice and theories, and philosophical theorizing about them, than do naturalists.

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