Ameliorative Inquiry in Epistemology

Book Section

Recently, some work in feminist epistemology has received more uptake from mainstream western analytic epistemology than it had in the past. There has been recognition of the importance of topics like epistemic injustice, standpoint epistemology, and epistemologies of ignorance, for instance. But these discussions are often seen as orthogonal to core epistemic theorizing - they have not received uptake as fundamental contestations of the ways we understand epistemic value, or core normative epistemic concepts. I suggest that one reasons for this is the perception that insofar as feminist theorizing is responsive to moral and political concerns, it is not doing epistemology because it is not theorizing about epistemic value. This assumes a specific kind of epistemic value monism - a view whose popularity, I argue, derives at least partly from features of the methodologies that are popular in mainstream epistemology. I show that by using a different type of methodology - ameliorative inquiry - we see that there is a principled reason to doubt epistemic value monism. We can thus understand feminist theorizing in ways that are richer, more accurate, and that contribute to our understanding of the ways in which our practical, moral, and epistemic agency are intertwined.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • McWilliams, E

Published Date

  • March 21, 2022

Book Title

  • The Political Turn in Analytic Philosophy Reflections on Social Injustice and Oppression

Published By

International Standard Book Number 10 (ISBN-10)

  • 3110612992

International Standard Book Number 13 (ISBN-13)

  • 9783110612998