On the Possibility of Feminist Philosophy of Physics

In Maria Cristina Amoretti & Nicla Vassallo (eds.), Meta-Philosophical Reflection on Feminist Philosophies of Science. Cham: Imprint: Springer. pp. 15-34 (2016)
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Abstract

The dynamic nature of physics cannot be captured through an exclusive focus on the static mathematical formulations of physical theories. Instead, we can more fruitfully think of physics as a set of distinctively social, cognitive, and theoretical/methodological practices. An emphasis on practice has been one of the most notable aspects of the recent “naturalistic turn” in general philosophy of science, in no small part due to the arguments of many feminist philosophers of science. A major project of feminist philosophy of physics has been to shine a critical light on the social and cognitive practices in physics, and how those ultimately influence other aspects of the science. Here we argue that traditional philosophy of physics has focused exclusively on the theoretical/methodological practices of physics, and that feminist philosophy of physics seeks to broaden the focus to include the social and cognitive practices as well.

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Maralee Harrell
University of California, San Diego

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