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Alcoff, Linda Martin, , . On Judging Epistemic Credibility: Is Social Identity Relevant?
2000, In Naomi Zack (ed.), Women of Color and Philosophy: A Critical Reader. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 235-262.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by:

Abstract: In assessing the likely credibility of a claim or judgment, is it ever relevant to take into account the social identity of the person who has made the claim? There are strong reasons, political and otherwise, to argue against the epistemic relevance of social identity. However, there are instances where social identity might be deemed relevant, such as in determinations of criminal culpability where a relatively small amount of evidence is the only basis for the decision and where social prejudices can play a role in inductive reasoning. This paper explores these issues.

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Anderson, Elizabeth, , . Feminist Epistemology and Philosophy of Science
2015, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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Added by: Giada Fratantonio, Contributed by:

Abstract: Feminist epistemology and philosophy of science studies the ways in which gender does and ought to influence our conceptions of knowledge, the knowing subject, and practices of inquiry and justification. It identifies ways in which dominant conceptions and practices of knowledge attribution, acquisition, and justification systematically disadvantage women and other subordinated groups, and strives to reform these conceptions and practices so that they serve the interests of these groups. Various practitioners of feminist epistemology and philosophy of science argue that dominant knowledge practices disadvantage women by (1) excluding them from inquiry, (2) denying them epistemic authority, (3) denigrating their ‘feminine’ cognitive styles and modes of knowledge, (4) producing theories of women that represent them as inferior, deviant, or significant only in the ways they serve male interests, (5) producing theories of social phenomena that render women’s activities and interests, or gendered power relations, invisible, and (6) producing knowledge (science and technology) that is not useful for people in subordinate positions, or that reinforces gender and other social hierarchies. Feminist epistemologists trace these failures to flawed conceptions of knowledge, knowers, objectivity, and scientific methodology. They offer diverse accounts of how to overcome these failures. They also aim to (1) explain why the entry of women and feminist scholars into different academic disciplines, especially in biology and the social sciences, has generated new questions, theories, and methods, (2) show how gender and feminist values and perspectives have played a causal role in these transformations, (3) promote theories that aid egalitarian and liberation movements, and (4) defend these developments as cognitive, not just social, advances.

Comment: A very detailed primer on feminist epistemology and philosophy of science. Covers a wide range of topics and issues, its length is such that it would probably be best to assign specific sections that are of interest rather than reading the whole thing. Useful as a preliminary introduction to the topics covered, and also offers a good summary of objections to the views presented.

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Collins, Patricia Hill, , . Transforming the inner circle: Dorothy Smith’s challenge to sociological theory
1992, Sociological Theory 10 (1):73-80.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Corbin Covington

Abstract: “Women have been largely excluded from the work of producing the forms of thought and the images and symbols in which thought is expressed and ordered,” suggests sociologist Dorothy E. Smith. “We can imagine women’s exclusion organized by the formation of a circle among men who attend to and treat as significant only what men say.” In this male discourse, “what men were doing was relevant to men, was written by men about men for men . . . this is how a tradition is formed” (Smith 1987, p. 18). Smith’s perspective aptly describes the outer circle that delineates sociology from other equally male-centered disciplines, but it also characterizes the important inner circle of sociological theory lying at the center of the field.

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Dalmiya, Vrinda, , . Why should a knower care?
2002, Hypatia 17(1): 34–52.
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Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by:

Abstract: This paper argues that the concept of care is significant not only for ethics, but for epistemology as well. After elucidating caring as a five-step dyadic relation, I go on to show its epistemic significance within the general framework of virtue epistemology as developed by Ernest Sosa, Alvin Goldman, and Linda Zagzebski. The notions of “care-knowing” and “care-based epistemology” emerge from construing caring (respectively) as a reliabilist and responsibilist virtue.

Comment: This text is best used in epistemology classes when discussing virtue reliablist and responsibilist approaches, and epistemic success in general. It will also be useful in philosophy of science classes: Dalmiya argues for radical changes in our approach to scientific research, including a redefinition of the epistemic and moral constraints which guide it.

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Dotson, Kristie, , . A Cautionary Tale: On Limiting Epistemic Oppression
2012, Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies 33 (1):24-47.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Corbin Covington

Abstract: In this paper, first and foremost, I aim to issue a caution. Specifically, I caution that when addressing and identifying forms of epistemic oppression one needs to endeavor not to perpetuate epistemic oppression. Epistemic oppression, here, refers to epistemic exclusions afforded positions and communities that produce de? ciencies in social knowledge. An epistemic exclusion, in this analysis, is an infringement on the epistemic agency of knowers that reduces her or his ability to participate in a given epistemic community.2 Epistemic agency will concern the ability to utilize persuasively shared epistemic resources within a given epistemic community in order to participate in knowledge production and, if required, the revision of those same resources.3 A compromise to epistemic agency, when unwarranted, damages not only individual knowers but also the state of social knowledge and shared epistemic resources.

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Dotson, Kristie, , . Conceptualizing Epistemic Oppression
2014, Social Epistemology 28 (2):115-138.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Corbin Covington

Abstract: Epistemic oppression refers to persistent epistemic exclusion that hinders one’s contribution to knowledge production. The tendency to shy away from using the term ‘epistemic oppression’ may follow from an assumption that epistemic forms of oppression are generally reducible to social and political forms of oppression. While I agree that many exclusions that compromise one’s ability to contribute to the production of knowledge can be reducible to social and political forms of oppression, there still exists distinctly irreducible forms of epistemic oppression. In this paper, I claim that a major point of distinction between reducible and irreducible epistemic oppression is the major source of difficulty one faces in addressing each kind of oppression, i.e. epistemic power or features of epistemological systems. Distinguishing between reducible and irreducible forms of epistemic oppression can offer a better understanding of what is at stake in deploying the term and when such deployment is apt.

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Dotson, Kristie, , . How is this Paper Philosophy?
2013, Comparative Philosophy 3 (1):3-29.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Corbin Covington

Abstract: This paper answers a call made by Anita Allen to genuinely assess whether the field of philosophy has the capacity to sustain the work of diverse peoples. By identifying a pervasive culture of justification within professional philosophy, I gesture to the ways professional philosophy is not an attractive working environment for many diverse practitioners. As a result of the downsides of the culture of justification that pervades professional philosophy, I advocate that the discipline of professional philosophy be cast according to a culture of praxis. Finally, I provide a comparative exercise using Graham Priest’s definition of philosophy and Audre Lorde’s observations of the limitations of philosophical theorizing to show how these two disparate accounts can be understood as philosophical engagement with a shift to a culture of praxis perspective.

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Dotson, Kristie, , . On the Costs of Socially Relevant Philosophy Papers: A Reflection
2019, Journal of Social Philosophy .
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Corbin Covington

Introduction: The noticeable uptake of the paper ‘How Is This Paper Philosophy?’ (Dotson 2012a) within professional philosophy has given me the occasion to reflect about the uptake of philosophy papers. This may shed light on producing socially relevant philosophy articles and their costs. The relative success of that paper is a huge surprise to me. What I mean by success is pretty straightforward and not particularly ambitious. I am counting success as whether one regularly runs into people who have read one’s paper and cite it as having had an impact on their considered or ambient positions on the paper’s content. That is, it has received some uptake in a populated domain of activity. What I take to be central to ques-tions of how an article becomes socially relevant are questions of uptake. Uptake, here, is understood broadly to refer to readership that takes one’s stated positions seriously enough to adopt (or be influenced by) them in part or in whole. What I have found is that many people in academic philosophy, for example, have read ‘How Is This Paper Philosophy?’ Some folks pay serious attention to it.

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Dotson, Kristie, , . Tracking Epistemic Violence, Tracking Practices of Silencing
2011, Hypatia 26 (2):236-257.
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Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by: Naomi Beecroft, Emily Dyson

Abstract: Too often, identifying practices of silencing is a seemingly impossible exercise. Here I claim that attempting to give a conceptual reading of the epistemic violence present when silencing occurs can help distinguish the different ways members of oppressed groups are silenced with respect to testimony. I offer an account of epistemic violence as the failure, owing to pernicious ignorance, of hearers to meet the vulnerabilities of speakers in linguistic exchanges. Ultimately, I illustrate that by focusing on the ways in which hearers fail to meet speaker dependency in a linguistic exchange, efforts can be made to demarcate the different types of silencing people face when attempting to testify from oppressed positions in society.

Comment: This text provides an alternative framework to epistemic injustice and focuses on the positionality of black women. It encourages thought about (certain kinds of) ignorance as specific harms to others. This would suit an undergraduate class who were looking at race, gender, and/or applied epistemologies.

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Fricker, Miranda, , . Rational Authority and Social Power: Toward a Truly Social Epistemology
1998, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 98(2): 159-177.
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Added by: Jie Gao, Contributed by:

Abstract: This paper explores the relation between rational authority and social power, proceeding by way of a philosophical genealogy derived from Edward Craig’s Knowledge and the State of Nature. The position advocated avoids the errors both of the ‘traditionalist’ (who regards the socio-political as irrelevant to epistemology) and of the ‘reductivist’ (who regards reason as just another form of social power). The argument is that a norm of credibility governs epistemic practice in the state of nature, which, when socially manifested, is likely to imitate the structures of social power. A phenomenon of epistemic injustice is explained, and the politicizing implication for epistemology educed.

Comment: In this paper, Fricker lays out an approach to social epistemology, one that gives the field a particular tight connect to political philosophy. Suitable as an introductory reading for courses on social epistemology or epistemology in general.

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Grasswick, Heidi, , . Feminist Social Epistemology
2013, Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
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Added by: Giada Fratantonio, Contributed by:

Summary: Survey article on feminist epistemology and its intersection with social epistemology. Includes discussion on topics such as the historical development of feminist epistemology as well as on epistemic injustice and the epistemology of ignorance.

Comment: It can be used as introductory/overview reading for a course on feminism, as well as social epistemology.

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Haslanger, Sally, , . Gender and Race: (What) Are They? (What) Do We Want Them To Be?
2000, Nous 34(1): 31-55.
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Added by: Carl Fox, Contributed by:

Abstract: This paper proposes social constructionist accounts of gender and race. The focus of the inquiry–inquiry aiming to provide resources for feminist and antiracist projects–are the social positions of those marked for privilege or subordination by observed or imagined features assumed to be relevant to reproductive function, or geographical origins. I develop these ideas and propose that other gendered and racialized phenomena are usefully demarcated and explained by reference to these social positions. In doing so, I address the concern that attempts to define race or gender are misguided because they either assume a false commonality or marginalize some members of the group in question.

Comment: Seminal reading for modules on gender or race.
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Hrdy, Sarah Blaffer, , . Empathy, Polyandry, and the Myth of the Coy Female
1986, In Feminist Approaches to Science, Ruth Bleier, (ed.), New York: Pergamon.
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Added by: Benny Goldberg, Contributed by:

Introduction: For over three decades, a handful of partially true assumptions were permitted to shape the construction of general evolutionary theories about sexual selection. These theories of sexual selection presupposed the existence of a highly discriminating, exually ‘coy’ female who was courted by sexually undiscriminating males. Work by female primatologists undermined these assumptions.

Comment: This is an essential paper for any courses in standpoint epistemology, feminist philosophy of science, or general philosophy of science.

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Jaggar, Alison M., , . Love and knowledge: Emotion in feminist epistemology
1989, Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 32 (2):151 – 176.
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Added by: Chris Blake-Turner, Contributed by: Wayne Riggs

Abstract: This paper argues that, by construing emotion as epistemologically subversive, the Western tradition has tended to obscure the vital role of emotion in the construction of knowledge. The paper begins with an account of emotion that stresses its active, voluntary, and socially constructed aspects, and indicates how emotion is involved in evaluation and observation. It then moves on to show how the myth of dispassionate investigation has functioned historically to undermine the epistemic authority of women as well as other social groups associated culturally with emotion. Finally, the paper sketches some ways in which the emotions ofunderclass groups, especially women, may contribute to the development of a critical social theory.

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Keller, Evelyn Fox, , Helen Longino. Feminism and Science
1996, Oxford University Press.
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Added by: Benny Goldberg, Contributed by:

Publisher’s Note: Over the past fifteen years, a new dimension to the analysis of science has emerged. Feminist theory, combined with the insights of recent developments in the history, philosophy, and sociology of science, has raised a number of new and important questions about the content, practice, and traditional goals of science. Feminists have pointed to a bias in the choice and definition of problems with which scientists have concerned themselves, and in the actual design and interpretation of experiments, and have argued that modern science evolved out of a conceptual structuring of the world that incorporated particular and historically specific ideologies of gender. The seventeen outstanding articles in this volume reflect the diversity and strengths of feminist contributions to current thinking about science.

Comment: A wonderful edited collection of articles on feminist reactions to and interpretations of science. Perfect for introductory courses in feminist philosophy, feminist philosophy of science, and general philosophy of science.

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