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Pragmatism and Feminist Epistemology - Essay Example

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Pragmatism is the idea or philosophy of accepting or endorsing practical results and their effects as a critical component of meaning and truth. It is a philosophical movement that consists of those who claim that an ideology or hypothesis is true if that idea works satisfactorily; that its meaning must be found by assessing the practical consequences of accepting the notion (McDermid, "Pragmatism," par.1), inevitably resulting in unpractical ideas to be rejected…
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Download file "Pragmatism and Feminist Epistemology" to see previous pages... In ordinary terms, pragmatism is known as a method of putting aside an ideal temporarily, to work towards achieving a more simple and achievable goal. It has greatly helped to clarify intractable metaphysical and epistemological disputes (McDermid, "Pragmatism," par.14). The simplest way of solving a dispute has been put forward by suggesting that arguing metaphysicians should ask themselves if any solid practical difference will be made as a result of their argument being proved right.
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If no such difference is made, practically there should be no disagreement and hence, no problem. Theories and models are gauged solely on their effects and benefits and not on ancestral data or facts. Dewey emphasized that the use of a theory is judged by its problem-solving power and not by qualitative standards for example, the consolation and subjective comfort it gives (McDermid, "Pragmatism," par. 16). It must be used if it's proven reliable over the times but to the extent till which it is giving practical solutions. The idea is that eventually, a theory must be replaced by another theory which works better for that time. In short, it emphasizes that what might be true at one point in time or in one context may differ if judged at a different point in time or in a context different to the first. James mentioned in his lecture that he gave in 1946 that it is astounding when one sees how many philosophical clashes and disputes fall into insignificance when they are put to the test of extracting a concrete consequence out of it ("What Pragmatism means," par.9).
Feminist epistemology and its philosophy analyses the way in which the difference in gender does and ought to influence our understandings of knowledge, the knowing subject and practices of inquiry and justification (Anderson, "Feminist Epistemology and Philosophy of Science," par.1). It is a loosely organized approach to epistemology rather than being a significantly different theory. There is emphasis on the epistemic significance of gender and the use of it as a separate analytical category in debates, criticisms and reconstructions of epistemic practices, trends and ideals (Janack, "Feminist Epistemology," par.1).
The feminist approach has its sources from various sections of thoughts including feminist science studies, naturalistic epistemologies, Marxist feminism, object-relations theory, development psychology and postmodernism etcetera. It generally looks at ways in which dominant conceptions through various platforms, disadvantages women and other subordinate groups systematically. It then works towards reforming such trends to help the aggrieved groups. Feminist philosophers investigate how gender situates knowing subjects; they have divided this quest into 3 categories: Feminist stand-point theory, feminist postmodernism and feminist empiricism (Anderson, "Feminist Epistemology and Philosophy of Science," par.1). Some feminists regard development psychology and object-relations theory to be troublesome as it assumes some specific commonalities in child-rearing that goes beyond the class and race differences. Also the claim that woman tend to reason differently than men, regardless of the source of that difference, is thought to be wrong and politically ...Download file "Pragmatism and Feminist Epistemology" to see next pagesRead More
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