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

Some participants to this quantity see Quine as critically 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 strength 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 a long way much less radical and extra challenging.

In specific, critics and advocates of Quine's arguments that the philosophy of technology will be "naturalized"—understood and pursued as an company non-stop with the sciences proper—disagree deeply approximately even if this sort of naturalized philosophy is "philosophy enough." primary matters at stake in those disagreements replicate present questions of exact curiosity to feminists and likewise 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 will be normative in addition to questions in regards to 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 necessary not just for what it contributes to the knowledge 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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These include its “veneration of physical science” and its assumption that science is the only knowledge-producing institution “worthy of analysis”; its reliance on scientiWc psychology and cognitive science, which in turn precludes critical evaluation of these disciplines and “begs the question” concerning their epistemic status; and its problematic representations of physical and human nature. , a naturalism that responds to postmodern, postcolonial, and postpatriarchal critiques), Quinean naturalism is not well conceived in these senses.

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. ” In “Feminist Epistemology and Naturalized Epistemology: An Uneasy Alliance” (Chapter 5), Phyllis Rooney introduces several distinctions to lay the groundwork for her argument that the alliance mentioned in her title is not only uneasy but should remain so.

She argues that because Quine’s arguments against the analytic/synthetic distinction are unsuccessful, so too are his challenges to “a priori truth” and to a distinction between science and the philosophy of science/epistemology. Thus, both remain available to the would-be rationalist. Second, Linker maintains that “a priori truth” allows for the objectivity of values and normative claims, and yields far more robust criteria for the assessment of claims and theories than those to which Quinean holism would limit us (coherence with sensory experience and with accepted theories).

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