Embodiment and Epistemology

Louise M. Antony

in The Oxford Handbook of Epistemology

Published in print November 2002 | ISBN: 9780195130058
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833481 | DOI:
Embodiment and Epistemology

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In ”Embodiment and Epistemology,” Louise Antony considers a kind of ”Cartesian epistemology” according to which, so far as knowing goes, knowers could be completely disembodied, that is, pure Cartesian egos. Antony examines a number of recent challenges to Cartesian epistemology, particularly challenges from feminist epistemology. She contends that we might have good reason to think that theorizing about knowledge can be influenced by features of our embodiment, even if we lack reason to suppose that knowing itself varies relative to such features. She also argues that a masculinist bias can result in mishandling of cognitive differences in cases where they actually exist and she examines a number of the ways in which the maleness of philosophy has, according to feminists, distorted epistemology. Even if a Cartesian approach offers one indispensable part of a comprehensive epistemology, according to Antony, we still need an epistemology that answers questions raised by our everyday, embodied lives.

Keywords: Louise Antony; Cartesian epistemology; cognitive difference; embodiment; feminism; feminist epistemology; knower; maleness; masculinism

Chapter.  7431 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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