“SITUATED KNOWLEDGE” AND THE IDEAL OF OBJECTIVITY IN SCIENCE

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Transliteration of original Title: 
«SITUATsIONNOE ZNANIE» I IDEAL OB"EKTIVNOSTI V NAUKE
Author(s): 
Elena O. Trufanova
Institute of Philosophy, Russian Academy of Sciences
Issue number: 
No.4 (Vol.54)
Pages: 
99-110
Abstract: 

The article dwells upon social constructionist critique of the ideal of scientific objectivity. It is shown that a number of researchers tend to replace the universal principle of objectivity that is used in science with the concept of “situated knowledge”. This concept argues that each knowledge belongs to a certain local social group and can be considered only in a narrow sociocultural context. The supporters of the “situated knowledge” concept assume that this approach should be considered as “strong objectivity” that consists in the acknowledgment of the impossibility of the existence of neutral unbiased researcher in the scientific cognition and, consequently, the impossibility of acquiring true knowledge or even building a scientific theory. Instead they suggest to give a “vote” for each of these social groups to voice their own scientific statements that will be considered as equivalent, thus realizing the democratic principle. The article demonstrates the complications of this position and shows that it does not only lead to the loss of possibility to speak of science as universal cultural institute but also to the loss of mutual understanding and the possibility of dialogue between different social groups: each group instead of using the objectivity principle and striving to seek common knowledge, will insist on the paramount value of its own local “situated” knowledge.

Keywords: 
objectivity, social constructionism, situated knowledge, feminist philosophy of science, knowledge, truth
References: 

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DOI: 
10.5840/eps201754475
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