Chapter 12 Introduction

In Joel Katzav, Dorothy Rogers & Krist Vaesen (eds.), Knowledge, Mind and Reality: An Introduction by Early Twentieth-Century American Women Philosophers. Cham: Springer. pp. 117-129 (2023)
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This chapter introduces the articles by Marie C. Swabey, Thelma Z. Lavine, Grace A. de Laguna and Dorothy Walsh on the objectivity of scientific knowledge. We will see Swabey placing herself outside the historicist traditions of (later) authors (e.g., Thomas Kuhn), and arguing that the rationality and objectivity of science are grounded in synthetic a priori justified logical principles. Lavine and de Laguna, by contrast, embrace socio-historical approaches to the study of science, thus anticipating later developments in philosophy of science. Still, whereas Lavine embraces a relativist notion of objectivity, de Laguna argues that science, at least in some respects, actually is universally valid. Walsh, finally, like Swabey, believes in context-independent objectivity that is grounded in metaphysics, but like de Laguna and Lavine, contends that such objectivity is discipline-specific.

Author Profiles

Krist Vaesen
Eindhoven University of Technology
Joel Katzav
University of Queensland


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