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Objectivity and Diversity: Another Logic of Scientific Research PDF

232 Pages·2015·0.7 MB·English
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Objectivity and Diversity Objectivity and Diversity Another Logic of Scientific Research Sandra Harding The University of Chicago Press :: Chicago and London Sandra Harding is Distinguished Professor of Education and Gender Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Distinguished Affiliate Professor of Philosophy at Michigan State University. She is the editor of The Postcolonial Science and Technology Studies Reader and the author of Sciences from Below: Feminisms, Postcolonialities, and Modernities. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago 60637 The University of Chicago Press, Ltd., London © 2015 by The University of Chicago All rights reserved. Published 2015. Printed in the United States of America 24 23 22 21 20 19 18 17 16 15 1 2 3 4 5 isbn- 13: 978- 0- 226- 24122- 7 (cloth) isbn- 13: 978- 0- 226- 24136- 4 (paper) isbn- 13: 978- 0- 226- 24153- 1 (e- book) doi: 10.7208/chicago/9780226241531.001.0001 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Harding, Sandra G., author. Objectivity and diversity : another logic of scientific research / Sandra Harding. pages cm Includes bibliographical references and index. isbn 978-0-226-24122-7 (cloth : alk. paper)— isbn 978-0-226-24136-4 (pbk. : alk. paper)—isbn 978-0-226-24153-1 (e-book) 1. Science—Philosophy. 2. Objectivity. 3. Science—Social aspects. I. Title q175.h324 2015 507.2—dc23 2014041598 a This paper meets the requirements of ansi/niso z39.48- 1992 (Permanence of Paper). Contents Acknowledgments vii Preface ix 1 New Citizens, New Societies: New Sciences, New Philosophies? 1 2 Stronger Objectivity for Sciences from Below 26 3 Women, Gender, Development: Maximally Objective Research? 52 4 Do Micronesian Navigators Practice Science? 80 5 Pluralism, Multiplicity, and the Disunity of Sciences 105 6 Must Sciences Be Secular? 127 7 After Mr. Nowhere: New Proper Scientific Selves 150 Notes 175 Bibliography 189 Index 207 Acknowledgments Many scholars, activists, and friends have improved my thinking on the topics of this book. I am especially grate- ful to Warwick Anderson, Cynthia Enloe, David Hess, Gail Kligman, Francoise Lionnet, Jim Maffie, John Mc- Cumber, Suman Seth, Kim TallBear, J. Ann Tickner, Nancy Tuana, Marguerite Waller, Alice Wexler, and Ali- son Wylie. I owe a special debt of gratitude to the members of the Philosophy Department at Michigan State University, which has hosted me for one month a year from 2010 to 2014. I have tried out drafts of every chapter of the book on them, and have always received valuable feedback. I thank especially Richard Peterson, Kristie Dotson, and Kyle Powys Whyte. Lecture and conference audiences have improved ev- ery chapter. Especially valuable have been responses at the Arctic Center and University of Lapland in Rovani- emi, Finland; the Universities of Praetoria, Western Cape, and KwaZulu- Natal in South Africa; the Max Planck In- stitute at the University of Halle, Germany; and Outside Philosophy in Los Angeles. My colleagues and students in the graduate Depart- ment of Education at UCLA have kept me grounded in the realities of knowledge production and dissemination for a decade and a half. Their commitment to improve Acknowledgments viii the educational resources available to children and their communities around the globe have helped to keep this philosopher focused on the fact that epistemologies and philosophies of science have immense prac- tical consequences for people’s abilities to survive and flourish. I am ex- tremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to get to understand their passion for epistemic equality and their brilliance at designing strategies to advance social justice. Karen Merikangas Darling at the University of Chicago Press has provided me with splendid editorial resources and advice. Comments from the anonymous external reviewers immensely improved the manu- script. Sarah Ruth Lillo and Melissa Goodnight helped me track down relevant sources and organize the typescript. My dear housemates, Emily and Eva Harding- Morick, made every- day life a joy throughout the writing of this book. Preface Worries about objectivity just won’t go away. Issues about what should be the role, if any, of values and in- terests in scientific research are as old as Galileo and the Enlightenment, and as new as the recent public debates about stem cell research, women’s math and science abili- ties, intelligent design, poor people’s high birthrates, and the causes of climate change. In many cases, of course, the invocation of “objectiv- ity” for a knowledge claim has more to do with attempts to boost the status of the claim than with any actual cri- teria the claim has satisfied, as philosopher Ian Hacking (forthcoming) points out. “Objectivity” is just an “eleva- tor word” and we should all please refrain from using it, he argues. While Hacking is undoubtedly right about the proliferation of substantively meaningless claims to ob- jectivity, I think the term remains far too powerful sim- ply to abandon to such boosters. Moreover, there remain ways in which the term has not worn out its usefulness in spite of its overuse as an elevator word. This study pur- sues such possibilities. Continued concern with the term “objectivity” and what it could stand for testifies to the fact that objectivity is good to think with, to borrow a phrase from anthropol- ogy. It is invoked at the juncture of a number of current anxieties and debates about relationships between rapidly

editor of The Postcolonial Science and Technology Studies Reader and Some readers may bristle at using the language of “logic of inquiry”.
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