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Saint-Croix, Catharine. Privilege and Position: Formal Tools for Standpoint Epistemology
2020, Res Philosophica, 97(4), 489-524
Added by: Franci Mangraviti

How does being a woman affect one’s epistemic life? What about being black? Or queer? Standpoint theorists argue that such social positions can give rise to otherwise unavailable epistemic privilege. “Epistemic privilege” is a murky concept, however. Critics of standpoint theory argue that the view is offered without a clear explanation of how standpoints confer their benefits, what those benefits are, or why social positions are particularly apt to produce them. But this need not be so. This article articulates a minimal version of standpoint epistemology that avoids these criticisms and supports the normative goals of its feminist forerunners. With this foundation, we develop a formal model in which to explore standpoint epistemology using neighborhood semantics for modal logic.

Comment (from this Blueprint): The paper contains a very extensive introduction to standpoint theory and its history, making it well suited for a course on modal logic (showcasing an application) or on formal epistemology. Formal elements are introduced with a lot of examples and informal discussion, so the paper might also be used in a course focusing on standpoint theory, although familiarity with (some) formal semantics is still a prerequisite.

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