Helen E. Longino & Guidelines for the Philosophy of Science on Sex

Let me briefly relay some of the guidelines Longino lays out in this blog post as I think they are useful to have on this platform for people to find and use.

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In Taking Gender Seriously in Philosophy of Science by Helen E. Longino discusses some of the standards that should envelop the literature on feminism and science. Longino proposes six standards or “virtues” which she does not consider, by no means, as absolute but rather as helpful guidelines in conducting responsible science. They are (1) Empirical Adequacy, (2) Novelty, (3) Ontological heterogeneity, (4) Complexity of Relationship, (5) Applicability to Current Human Needs, and (6) Diffusion of Power.

  1. Concerns itself with the adequacy (or inadequacy, rather) that a lot of the research surrounding biological sex differences has. Feminist scientists such as Ruth Bleier, Anne Fausto Sterling (previously discussed), Richard Lewontin, Ruth Doell have throughout their careers shown that studies can either via “faulty research design or improper statistical methodology” result in bad conclusions that should not be made accessible to the general public. It is sadly the case that these studies often do get out and are fairly popular, as anything related to human nature tends to be.

Longino does not consider the above as an exhaustive list but rather as something of a guideline. In giving these guidelines Longino creates space for feminist critique in science and a field of study that should be considered seriously.

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Author of “Up in the Air: Christianity, Atheism & the Global Problems of the 21st Century” on AMAZON | Exploring Ethical Living | IG: jakub.ferencik.official

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