Monday March 4 th
TA teaching class
-What is “feminist epistemology”?
-What makes an epistemology feminist?
“The Man of Reason”-Genevieve Lloyd
-What is epistemology?
-A body of knowledge
-Study of knowledge
-Epistemologists want to know what is knowledge? How is it created,
disseminated? How is it dispersed and acquired. How do we know what we know?
To what extent is it possible for a subject to be know? How much knowledge can you
have a subject? Necessary and sufficient conditions of knowledge
-Study of knowledge from a feminist perspective
-male paradigms vs. female qualities, divide between maleness and
-dominant epistemological systems
Terms- necessary and sufficient conditions of knowledge
What are necessary conditions?-needed meeting a requirement- must be satisfied
for a statement to be true. if x is needed for y then if we don’t have x we don’t have y.
Oxygen is a necessary condition for human life. If we don’t have oxygen we don’t
have human life.
Sufficient condition- enough.
If satisfied, assures the statements truth. X guarantees y. if you get 89% you get a A.
You could get 85 or whatever, but 89 would be an A.
Various types of knowledge
-know how to do things (play softball)
-know about places
-we can know other people- We know the lecturer, he brother also knows her. There
are degrees of knowledge
“S” knows that “P”
S- subject who knows
p-proposition that is known
-example Sally knows that the cup is white
-Substitution assumptions (A key aspect of propositional knowledge) -S can be substituted by S (S can be substituted for any other subject who knows)
And P can be substituted for any other subject who knows
-When epistemologists talk about propositional knowledge they’re talking about
empirical items that you can observe in the world- not like how well you know
someone or somewhere, they’re talking about chairs, balls, tables.
-Pieces of information that you can verify through your senses.
-The idea is that the subject can be anyone.
-Sally knows that the class ends at 2:30
Feminist epistemologist- critique the issues with classical western epistemology
The take issue with the following-
-positivism and objectivity
-universality (not located- doesn’t have a place in space and time)
-authority-who do we say can know? who do we look to to provide
-rationality, certainty, universalizability
-individualism and autonomy
(depends on who’s work your reading, different feminist episimologists have
1. reliance on science and positivism- to get to the truth of something-
western context but also other culture
-Every rationally justifiable assertion can be scientifically verified. We
use science to get truth. Well “science has proven that ____”. Trying to
get us to believe that’s true.
1.Value-neutrality- we look at Facts as disconnected or dissociated
from value system- no objective, no ideology. Facts and values are separate. It’s just
2.Objectivity- remove subjective bias from inquiry and claims about
truth. Be able to reproduce same results. Need the same results anywhere-
ideological leaning is removed.
-contrasted with relativism /subjective relativism)-truth about reality is relative to
the individual perceiving it (ie. Protagoras-“man is the measure of all things”)
-If a br