Challenges from Every Direction

Janet A. Kourany

in Philosophy of Science after Feminism

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780199732623
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199866403 | DOI:

Series: Studies in Feminist Philosophy

Challenges from Every Direction

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This chapter defends the political approach with its ideal of socially responsible science against five important challenges. The first—the epistemological challenge—suggests that the more a practice is concerned with knowledge, especially technical knowledge, the more it should be free from societal control or oversight. The second—the historical challenge—points to the dire social as well as epistemic effects that have resulted from societal interference with science—for example, those that occurred in Stalinist Russia or Nazi Germany or Galileo’s Italy. The third—the sociological challenge—emphasizes the cognitive and social norms institutionalized in science that ensure the advancement of science and the fourth—the economic challenge—emphasizes the socioeconomic progress that results from this advancement in the absence of societal interference. Finally the fifth—the political challenge—insists that scientists have a right to freedom of research and that societal interference with science infringes on that right.

Keywords: socially responsible science; political approach; societal interference; epistemological challenge; historical challenge; sociological challenge; economic challenge; political challenge; freedom of research

Chapter.  12434 words. 

Subjects: Feminist Philosophy

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