Discuss about the Feminist Standpoint Epistemology.
The feminist standpoint theory is the center of the studies conducted regarding women. Actually, this theory lately the theory was used to prescribe circles in women studies. This theory considers the lives as honored places of production of knowledge as it focuses on marginal lives or women thinking (Harding, 2004 p.50). There are three accounts of feminist standpoint theory as outlined by Sandra Harding. However, the account of strong objectivity where Sandra Harding argue that the objective strength of the theory is the perception that knowledge is socially situated. Therefore, the strengths and weaknesses of the account are accessed in a theoretical approach to the construction of knowledge.
To start with the strengths, Harding views that objectivity can be attained by individuals who are alert socially. Also, Harding accepts that the traditional science is a significant tool that can be employed to eliminate the social values to ensure that experiments can show similar outcomes across cultures. Clearly, Harding employs several dimensions to the account to acquire knowledge foundation and avoid being skeptical. Moreover, Harding upholds that the niche existing between the theory and evidence are filled by the individual politics, agendas, as well as social values. In addition, Harding views that people move close to maximize objectivity if the gaps of some social groups are filled with cognitive gaps from others. The theorist suggests that it is important if knowledge is produced in an inclusive perspective where the knowledge of individual communities can be molded. Finally, another strength of the strength objectivity in regard to the argument that knowledge is socially situated is that people should be aware of social bias as it guides towards attaining security for individual knowledge production (Freundlich, 2016 p.2017). Moreover, the individual awareness of social bias help in minimizing the personal bias in the case of production of objective knowledge.
On the other hand, the weaknesses of the strength objective account that knowledge is socially situated is that if people exercise too much authority in knowledge production, it may result in bad science. Also, Harding may not be like other postmodern feminists as some do not support the standpoint for knowledge production. Also, Harding argues about objectivity and at the same time think that people have too many biases which hinder them from seeing reality as it is. Moreover, another weakness is that Harding views knowledge production community as too weak implying that it may fail to eliminate and uncover the social interests, values, and agendas.
To summarize, the account of strength objectivity that knowledge is socially situated views that knowledge production can be easy only if people are aware of the social situation. Harding’s argument is seconded through standpoint epistemology which supports that knowledge is socially situated. Clearly, the account for strengths objectivity is associated with various strengths and weaknesses in the context of Sandra Harding as outlined in this paper. This account seeks to broaden its scope by including interrogation and self-reflection in regard to any knowledge producing community. However, in reviewing to Harding’s argument it is clear that individuals are connected to their social situations and cannot be separated from the physical world.
Freundlich, A., 2016. Feminist standpoint epistemology and objectivity. Retrieved January, 9, p.2017.
Harding, S.G.., 2004. The feminist standpoint theory reader: Intellectual and political controversies. Psychology Press.