chapter  16
23 Pages

Feminism, Science, and the Anti-Enlightenment Critiques

At the center of an emerging controversy in U.S. feminism lies the question of whether there should be feminist sciences and epistemologies. Feminists in the scientific traditions have attempted to reform and transform the theories and practices of these traditions in order to create less partial and less distorted rep­ resentations of the world than the mainstream, androcentric ones. They want less false stories about nature and social life; they want scientific explanations that can provide useful guides to improving the conditions of women. In addi­ tion to producing new theories and empirical studies, they have developed femi­ nist empiricism and the feminist standpoint epistemologies as justificatory strategies for the new scientific projects. In important ways, these tendencies continue what have come to be labeled modernist and Enlightenment projects. These labels would appear to be appropriate for the feminist science and epistemology projects since they envision emancipatory possibilities for the harnessing of power to knowledge.