• Evidence, relativism and feminist standpoint theory
    In Maria Lasonen-Aarnio & Clayton Littlejohn (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Evidence, Routledge. 2019.
  •  454
    Defences of perspectival realism are motivated, in part, by an attempt to find a middle ground between the realist intuition that science seems to tell us a true story about the world, and the Kuhnian intuition that scientific knowledge is historically and culturally situated. The first intuition pulls us towards a traditional, absolutist scientific picture, and the second towards a relativist one. Thus, perspectival realism can be seen as an attempt to secure situated knowledge without entailin…Read more
  •  906
    The term ‘identity politics’ is used to refer to a wide range of political movements. In this paper, we look at the theoretical ideas underpinning two strongly, mutually opposed forms of identity politics, and identify some crucial differences between them. We critically compare the identitarian ideology of the New Right with feminist standpoint theory, focusing on two issues: relativism and essentialism. In carrying out this critical comparison we illuminate under-theorized aspects of both new …Read more
  •  151
    Mainstream epistemologists don’t tend to discuss feminist epistemologies. They often don’t mention them in introductory courses or textbooks, and they almost invariably don’t take themselves to work on them. This is probably due to a suspicion that ‘feminist’ epistemologies are clouded by political motivations. In this paper I will argue two things. First, that this suspicion is misguided – a number of ‘mainstream’ epistemologists (specifically, hinge epistemologists), are in fact doing work whi…Read more
  •  660
    In this paper I explore the relationship between social epistemology and relativism in the context of feminist epistemology. I do this by focusing on one particular branch of feminist epistemology - a branch known as standpoint theory - and investigating the connection between this view and epistemic relativism. I begin by defining both epistemic relativism and standpoint theory, and by briefly recounting the standard way that the connection between these two views is understood. The literature …Read more
  •  10
    Measuring the self and measuring the world
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy. forthcoming.
    I evaluate Tanesini’s attempt to provide a social approach to intellectual vices. I do this in three steps. First, I explain what I mean by a ‘social approach’. Tanesini offers three senses in which her account is social, and I explain each of these before honing in on the one in which I am most interested. Second, I address the extent to which her approach to the causes of intellectual vices can be said to be a social approach. My assessment here will be broadly positive, though I highlight som…Read more
  •  426
    Receptive Publics
    Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 11. 2024.
    It is widely accepted that public discourse as we know it is less than ideal from an epistemological point of view. In this paper, we develop an underappreciated aspect of the trouble with public discourse: what we call the Listening Problem. The listening problem is the problem that public discourse has in giving appropriate uptake and reception to ideas and concepts from oppressed groups. Drawing on the work of Jürgen Habermas and Nancy Fraser, we develop an institutional response to the liste…Read more
  •  626
    This article critically evaluates what we call the ‘popular narrative’ about the state of the public sphere. We identify three elements of this popular narrative (the post-truth element, the polarisation element and the new technology element), and draw on philosophical work on hinge epistemology and social roles to challenge each one. We propose, instead, that public debate has always depended on non-evidential commitments, that it has always been home to significant, deep division, and that so…Read more
  •  757
    Extended Rationality and Epistemic Relativism
    In Nikolaj Pedersen & Luca Moretti (eds.), Non-Evidential Anti-Scepticism. 2021.
    In her book Extended Rationality: A Hinge Epistemology (2015), Annalisa Coliva puts forward an anti-sceptical proposal based on the idea that the notion of rationality extends to the unwarrantable presuppositions “that make the acquisition of perceptual warrants possible” (2015: 150). These presuppositions are commonly the target of sceptical arguments, and by showing that they are on the one hand unwarrantable, but on the other are constitutive components of rationality itself, she reveals that…Read more
  •  1044
    Relativism in Feminist Epistemologies
    In Natalie Alana Ashton, Robin McKenna, Katharina Anna Sodoma & Martin Kusch (eds.), Social Epistemology and Epistemic Relativism, Routledge. 2020.
    Different views on the connection between relativism and feminist epistemologies are often asserted but rarely are these views clearly argued for. This has resulted in a confusingly polarised debate, with some people convinced that feminist epistemologies are committed to relativism (and that this is a reason so be suspicious of them) whilst others make similar criticisms of anti-feminist views and argue that relativism has no place in feminist epistemologies. This chapter is an attempt to clari…Read more
  •  1341
    Rethinking Epistemic Relativism
    Metaphilosophy 50 (5): 587-607. 2019.
    ‘Relativism’ is often treated as a dirty word in philosophy. Showing that a view entails relativism is almost always considered tantamount to showing that it is nonsensical. However, relativistic theories are not entirely unappealing – they have features which might be tempting if they weren’t thought to be outweighed by problematic consequences. In this paper I argue that it’s possible to secure the intuitively appealing features of at least one kind of relativism – epistemic relativism – witho…Read more
  •  662
    Appropriate Belief Without Evidence
    Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy (2): 7-28. 2015.
    ABSTRACT In this paper I defend a version of Wittgensteininan contextualism. This is a view about justification on which some beliefs are epistemically appropriate because evidence cannot be adduced in their favour. I trace the history of the view from Wittgenstein and Ortega to the present day, defend one version from the charge of relativism, and suggest some applications of the view both within and without philosophy.
  •  1025
    The Case for a Feminist Hinge Epistemology
    Wittgenstein-Studien 10 (1): 153-163. 2019.
    In this paper I make the case for a feminist hinge epistemology in three steps. My first step is to explain hinge epistemologies as contemporary epistemologies that take Wittgenstein’s work in On Certainty as their starting point. My second step is to make three criticisms of this literature as it currently stands. My third step is to introduce feminist epistemologies, which argue that social factors like race and gender affect what different people and groups justifiably believe, and argue that…Read more
  •  2055
    Situating feminist epistemology
    Episteme 17 (1): 28-47. 2020.
    Feminist epistemologies hold that differences in the social locations of inquirers make for epistemic differences, for instance, in the sorts of things that inquirers are justified in believing. In this paper we situate this core idea in feminist epistemologies with respect to debates about social constructivism. We address three questions. First, are feminist epistemologies committed to a form of social constructivism about knowledge? Second, to what extent are they incompatible with traditiona…Read more
  •  731
    Undercutting Underdetermination‐Based Scepticism
    Theoria 81 (4): 333-354. 2015.
    According to Duncan Pritchard, there are two kinds of radical sceptical problem; the closure-based problem, and the underdetermination-based problem. He argues that distinguishing these two problems leads to a set of desiderata for an anti-sceptical response, and that the way to meet all of these desiderata is by supplementing a form of Wittgensteinian contextualism with disjunctivist views about factivity. I agree that an adequate response should meet most of the initial desiderata Pritchard pu…Read more