Janet Kourany, "Philosophy of Science After Feminism" (Oxford UP, 2010)


Do social values belong in the sciences? Exploring the relationship between science, society, and politics, Philosophy of Science After Feminism (Oxford UP, 2010) provides a map for a more socially and politically engaged philosophy of science. Janet Kourany's book is a service to scholars and interested readers across the many fields of science studies, providing the reader with a set of models as well as offering a capsule history of the philosophy of science as a professional discipline. The book is a profoundly transdisciplinary work even as it maintains a very careful focus on the philosophy of science as a discipline. Kourany's archive includes the work of philosophers of science, feminist theorists, sociologists, historians, and many others, with the reader consistently and sometimes explicitly invited into the dialogue. Kourany suggests a program that emerges from previous and contemporary attempts to create a more socially-engaged philosophy of science, guides us through some major potential challenges to the political approach that she advocates, and provides concrete suggestions for integrating philosophers into the construction of more thoughtful ethical codes for scientific practice. It is an engaging, thoughtful, and teachable text advocating a space of philosophers as public intellectuals, and we had a very enjoyable and spirited conversation about it. Enjoy!

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