Does feminism contribute to a naturalistic epistemology?
Organização:  CFCUL
Ciências ULisboa, Building C6
13 / 07 / 2023

Although naturalist epistemology and feminist epistemology differ in their specific aims, they are both based on a common idea; they aim to fight against the positivist ideals of traditional epistemology, characterized by Reutsche (2020) as “pristine” because of its absolute and timeless pretensions in the characterization of knowledge. However, while the first has become one of the most important approaches in the philosophy of science today the contributions of the second remain marginal.
Our aim is to point out the contributions of feminism to naturalism to show the necessity of its inclusion and recognition within naturalist epistemology. The interest that this may arouse is related to the relevance and importance of the naturalist approach.
To do that, we will focus, in particular, on the contributions of empiricist feminism, represented by authors such as Longino (2005), Anderson (1995) or Nelson (1995).
In short, if the aim of naturalist epistemology is to move away from traditional aprioristic consideration and towards actual scientific practice, the contribution of empiricist feminism becomes fundamental as it points out the different roles of feminist scientific practice, that are usually excluded from mainstream epistemological investigations.


Anderson, E. (1995) Feminist epistemology: An Interpretation and a Defense. Hypatia, 10 (3): 50-84.
Longino, H. (1981) Scientific objectivity and feminist theorizing. Liberal Education, 67 (3): 33-41.
Nelson, L.H. (1995) A feminist naturalized philosophy of sciences. Synthese, Feminism and science, Springer, 104 (3): 399-421.
Okruhlik, K. (1994) Gender and the Biological Sciences. Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Suppl. (20): 21-42.
Reutsche, L. (2020) What it ́s like to be a woman in philosophy of physics. The Routledge Handbook of feminist Philosophy of Science Routledge, University of Michigan.

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