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Title: Su naturalismi e filosofie femministe in relazione a cognizione e conoscenza
Authors: Vassallo, Nicla
Keywords: naturalismfeminismknowledge
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: Nicla Vassallo, "Su naturalismi e filosofie femministe in relazione a cognizione e conoscenza", in: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics, XI (2009) 2, pp. 162-178.
Series/Report no.: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics
XI (2009) 2
Any attempt to evaluate a naturalistic feminist philosophy of cognition and knowledge
must acknowledge that there are two distinct core approaches to naturalism (one more
radical and well-interpreted by Quine, while the other more moderate and well-interpreted
by Goldman). Classical feminist naturalizations of epistemology have drawn inspiration
from the Quinean naturalization, they have inherited its defects – the major one: being
compelled to renounce doing real epistemology in favor of a merely scientific enterprise.
Notwithstanding, the merits of these feminist naturalizations are more than one: they embrace
the idea that epistemology needs contributions and help from the sciences, they raise
serious doubts about the best science to involve in feminist epistemologies, they contrast
(even if implicit) our “local feminist philosophy” (that is, mostly Italian one) not only in its
scorn for every science and its technological applications, but also in its conviction that
there are essential differences between female/women and male/men about knowledge and
cognition. I wish to propose a naturalized feminist epistemology which draws inspiration
from the more moderate Goldmanian approach. Much work would be needed in order to
combine those feminist approaches which believe in the individualism of the knowing subject
with those that are anti–individualist. But, at least, taking inspiration from Goldman
and his reliabilism, we may achieve a type of naturalism in feminist epistemologies, in
which it would be feasible to understand the reliability of the cognitive faculties of the
knowing subject and to understand scientifically whether or not there are differences between
female and male faculties – avoiding any essentialist temptations.
Type: Article
ISSN: 1825-5167
Appears in Collections:Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2009) XI /2

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