Aleksandra Knežević MA

March 01, until August 27, 2024

Affiliation: Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade


Research for a study about:

A Framework for the Feminist Anthropology of Science

During my stay at the IVC, I will seek to establish a theoretical framework for the feminist anthropology of science. The research question I will explore is: what does it mean to do anthropology of science as a feminist? The core thesis I will defend goes as follows: feminist anthropology of science investigates contemporary science in practice to uncover gender bias in local scientific cultures or to illuminate whether the knowledge produced by the sciences it investigates is useful for feminist aims. To support my claim, my research strategy consists of finding ways to integrate feminist philosophy of science (FPoS) and critical anthropology of science (CAoS). In doing so, I will be investigating the following questions:
•    In what ways is feminist anthropology of science an instance of critical (anthropology of) science?
•    Why are the methods of feminist anthropology of science suitable for uncovering gender bias in local scientific cultures and for evaluating whether the knowledge produced by the sciences it investigates meets feminist ends?
•    Should feminist anthropology of science provide normative claims with the potential to transform and emancipate scientific practices, norms, and knowledges it investigates?




A framework for the feminist anthropology of science

Philosophy of Science Colloquium
The Institute Vienna Circle holds a Philosophy of Science Colloquium with talks by our present fellows.

Date: 27/06/2024

Time: 16h45

Venue: New Institute Building (NIG), Universitätsstraße 7, 1010 Wien, HS 3F

In this talk, I will unpack different facets of the question of what it means to do anthropology of science as a feminist. In the first part, I will examine the tradition of feminist philosophers of science discussing the possibility of feminist science. Then, I will discuss what a critical scientific perspective entails in anthropology. Finally, I will integrate these two bodies of knowledge to explore what a feminist anthropology of science could mean in terms of its scientific practice. In the second part, I will focus on a related issue, which I call the problem of normativity – the claim that science loses its crucial feature, objectivity, when influenced by feminism (or any other worldview). Despite well-established knowledge in feminist philosophy of science and ‘values in science’ discussions, which offer resolutions to this problem, I contend that confusion persists about what a critical perspective, such as a feminist one, implies for scientific reasoning and research aims. I will argue that the problem of normativity involves two aspects, which are often confused: first, whether values play a role in the context of justification, and second, whether a critical social scientist, in order to be critical, must go beyond description. I will address both issues by relying on mainstream claims from contemporary philosophy of science and will draw conclusions from this discussion for theorizing a feminist anthropology of science.