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Anderson, Elizabeth, , . Uses of value judgments in science: A general argument, with lessons from a case study of feminist research on divorce
2004, Hypatia 19 (1):1-24.
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Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by:

Abstract: The underdetermination argument establishes that scientists may use political values to guide inquiry, without providing criteria for distinguishing legitimate from illegitimate guidance. This paper supplies such criteria. Analysis of the confused arguments against value-laden science reveals the fundamental criterion of illegitimate guidance: when value judgments operate to drive inquiry to a predetermined conclusion. A case study of feminist research on divorce reveals numerous legitimate ways that values can guide science without violating this standard.

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Collins, Patricia Hill, , . Learning from the outsider within: The sociological significance of black feminist thought
2004, In Sandra G. Harding (ed.), The Feminist Standpoint Theory Reader: Intellectual and Political Controversies. Routledge.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Corbin Covington

Abstract: Black women have long occupied marginal positions in academic settings. I argue that many Black female intellectuals have made creative use of their marginality their “outsider within ” status-to produce Black feminist thought that reflects a special standpoint on self family, and society. I describe and explore the sociological significance of three characteristic themes in such thought: (1) Black women’s self-definition and self-valuation; (2) the interlocking nature of oppression; and (3) the importance of Afro-American women’s culture. After considering how Black women might draw upon these key themes as outsiders within to generate a distinctive standpoint on existing sociological paradigms, I conclude by suggesting that other sociologists would also benefit by placing greater trust in the creative potential of their own personal and cultural biographies.

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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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Gilbert, Margaret, , . Walking Together: A Paradigmatic Social Phenomenon
1990, Midwest Studies in Philosophy 15(1): 1-14.
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Added by: Lukas Schwengerer, Contributed by:

Abstract: The everyday concept of a social group is approached by examining the concept of going for a walk together, an example of doing something together, or ‘shared action’. Two analyses requiring shared personal goals are rejected, since they fail to explain how people walking together have obligations and rights to appropriate behaviour, and corresponding rights of rebuke. An alternative account is proposed: those who walk together must constitute the ‘plural subject’ of a goal (roughly, their walking alongside each other). The nature of plural subjecthood, the thesis that social groups are plural subjects, and the relation of these ideas to Rousseau’s and Hobbes’s, are briefly explored.

Comment: The article uses a clear example to explore shared agency. It is both an accessible and fundamental paper for the discourse on collective intentionality, and as such it is ideal as an introduction to those topics. It is also a good addition for courses on social ontology.

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