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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Andrea I. Woody
PHIL 406
Seattle Campus

Philosophical Topics in Feminism

Detailed examination of questions raised by recent feminist scholarship in particular areas of philosophy, such as political theory, ethics, epistemology, or philosophy of science. Emphasis varies.

Class description

This course examines two interdependent issues: (1) how, if at all, awareness of gender and sex may inform our conceptions of modern science, and empirical knowledge more generally, and (2) how knowledge of science (in either its content or its methods) may influence our conceptions of gender, sex, and their roles within western society. We begin by examining scientific theories, both biological and anthropological, concerning the nature of sex differences and their relations to reproduction, cognition, and human social structures. Next, we turn to feminist critiques of science with the aim of asking if, and in what ways, terms like "feminist science" can be meaningful. While investigating these questions we will ponder how our answers may be relevant to contemporary debates in epistemology and philosophy of science. Finally, we will turn to an extended discussion of feminist epistemology as presented in Alessandra Tanesini's new textbook.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Classes will be a mixture of lecture and discussion. Students will be asked periodically to take responsibility for leading class discussion, and an email list will provide additional opportunities for interactive learning.

Recommended preparation

Prior training in some of the following subjects will be very helpful: epistemology, philosophy of science, feminist theory, history of science, women’s history.

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Beverly A Wessel
Date: 10/30/2000