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Feminist Epistemology

Feminist theories of knowledge and knowledge construction have built up around challenges to the presupposition of gender neutrality within “standard epistemology” (Code 1993:20). Feminist epistemology comprises two main areas, feminist standpoint theory and feminist science studies. These epistemological enterprises overlap considerably, but not every feminist standpoint theorist contributes to feminist studies of science, or vice versa. Moreover, a few feminist theorists (e.g., Grant 1993) resolutely oppose feminist standpoint theory.

By no means does feminist standpoint theory represent a single theoretical position. Nor does it postulate anything decidedly universal or unquestionably legitimate. Such knowledge claims would be equivalent to the positivistic claims that feminist standpoint theorists critique, such as claims to value-free objectivity or to a standpoint representing “No One Nowhere” or “Everyone Everywhere.” As Christine ...

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