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Critically evaluate feminist arguments against the present system of science - Essay Example

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Critically evaluate feminist arguments against the present system of science

The movement also argued that science, besides perpetuating inequalities between sexes, is excessively focused on rational positivism, specifically on matters of objectivity, exactness, and certainty that seemed in conflict with feminism’s political ideals (Potter, 2006), and specifically with the development of a feminist science that focuses on women’s interests. Feminist Critiques of Science Feminist discourses are stuffed with cases of gender inequalities, especially in the field of science. Since the 1960s, feminist critique of science have shifted from discourses that explained the likelihood of reforming the existing system of science to demands for a total reconstruction of the core bedrock of culture and science (Wyer, 2009). Radical feminism argues that the politics, ethics, metaphysics, and epistemologies of the prevailing system of science are male-biased and interdependent; that in spite of the profoundly embedded Western cultural faith in the inherent objectivity or liberalism of science, science nowadays caters mostly to reactionary or backward social inclinations; and that science’s methods of creating and explaining meanings, its approaches to the process of research problem identification and experimental designs, its instruments and applications, and its social structure are not just androcentric but also culturally intimidating, rigidly hierarchical, and racially prejudiced (Outhwaite & Turner, 2007). As explained by Mayberry (2001), in their explorations of how the formation of gender identity, the gender-based differentiation of labour, and gender representation have shaped the historical development and principles of science, feminist scholars have questioned and debunked the social and intellectual system at their core. Feminists have commonly viewed practitioners of science as conspiring, unknowingly or intentionally, in the creation and perpetuation of cultural and social stereotypes about the two sexes. A good example is sociobiology, the field that associated animal behaviour with human behavioural patterns. Sociobiologists generally believe that the environment has a negligible contribution to human development. They have attributed the greatest role to the genes. A well-known sociobiologist, E.O. Wilson argued that, “It pays males to be aggressive, hasty, fickle, and undiscriminating. In theory it is more profitable for females to be coy, to hold back until they can identify males with the best genes... Human beings obey this biological principle faithfully” (Wyer, 2008, 188). Because of such male-biased statements, feminists have fervently condemned the efforts of sociobiologists to validate and reinforce inequalities between the human sexes. Sociobiology promotes the idea that females are selective and favour monogamous relationships because these traits guarantee the reproduction of their genes. On the other hand, males are naturally promiscuous and prefer polygamous relationships to guarantee the transmission of their genes (Wyer, 2008, 188). Hilary Rose and Nancy Hartsock support and explained the value of a feminist standpoint perspective, and the importance of developing a form of science that gives consideration to women and women’s worldview and knowledge. These feminist arguments against science blended with an array of other perspectives against positivism, or rigid objectivity and certainty, as the epistemological ...Show more
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An Evaluation of Feminist Arguments against the Present System of Science Name of University Introduction Feminist arguments against the present system of science focus on a science not habitually or consistently considerate to women’s interests…
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