With a Foreword by Richard J. Bernstein and an Afterword by John Durham Peters
Edited By Jason Hannan
11 Sandra Harding: The Less False Accounts of Feminist Standpoint Epistemology LINDA STEINER 261
11 Sandra Harding The Less False Accounts of Feminist Standpoint Epistemology LINDA STEINER ________________________________________ Sandra Harding’s work in feminist epistemology, postcolonial theory, the philosophy of science, and research methodology is highly regarded across many disparate disciplines for clarifying the inherently value-laden and political dimensions of knowledge, including scholarship. Harding is most known for articulating principles of feminist standpoint epistemology (FSE), one of “the most controversial theories in the history of second wave feminism thinking.”1 She played a key role in bringing into being standpoint epistemology as a general class of feminist theory; standpoint theorists became identifiable as a group through her work.2 She has led the way in showing how and why knowledge claims may sometimes even have life-and-death consequences, and thus why, in a very practical way, it matters who is making which knowledge claims. Some details in the elaboration and defense of this political and social epistemology have evolved over the last fifteen years. Harding herself describes both standpoint theory and other feminist epistemological projects as dynamic, having developed “within, against, and in interaction with other disciplinary, theoretical, research, and political projects.”3 Yet, she has not backed away from her central claims. It is also worth noting by way of introduction that antiobjectivism has a long history in philosophy. Critiques of positivism and objectivism have been articulated by many philosophers, including many men and non- feminists and including several philosophers discussed in this volume, such as Richard Bernstein, who has compellingly described the objectivism versus 262 | Linda...
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