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something about postmodern feminist epistemology

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something about postmodern feminist epistemology
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borrofburiModeratorPosts: 3527Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 5:27 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: something about postmodern feminist epistemology

Andiferous wrote:That said, there has been sex bias observed in the fields like medical study in the past, and there are arguments over whether or not this still exists today; but from what I can tell, this isn't really the kind of thing the article is saying.

It would seem to me that the issue that the "postmodern feminists" have with science is that they think the methodology of science itself is "biased"; it would also seem to me that this is a far cry from the concept of "bias" in a field which is typically defined by the ratio of male to female *individuals* working int hat field. It seems to me that postmoder feminists are attacking the idea, the methodology, of science, not an imbalance of the numbers of individuals within the field of "scientist".
Mon Apr 12, 2010 9:23 pm
OnkelCannabiaUser avatarPosts: 156Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:46 pmLocation: Germany

Post Re: something about postmodern feminist epistemology

borrofburi wrote:
Andiferous wrote:That said, there has been sex bias observed in the fields like medical study in the past, and there are arguments over whether or not this still exists today; but from what I can tell, this isn't really the kind of thing the article is saying.

It would seem to me that the issue that the "postmodern feminists" have with science is that they think the methodology of science itself is "biased"; it would also seem to me that this is a far cry from the concept of "bias" in a field which is typically defined by the ratio of male to female *individuals* working int hat field. It seems to me that postmoder feminists are attacking the idea, the methodology, of science, not an imbalance of the numbers of individuals within the field of "scientist".


I agree, rational thinking is indeed very masculine.
Mon Apr 12, 2010 9:48 pm
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borrofburiModeratorPosts: 3527Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 5:27 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: something about postmodern feminist epistemology

OnkelCannabia wrote:
borrofburi wrote:It would seem to me that the issue that the "postmodern feminists" have with science is that they think the methodology of science itself is "biased"; it would also seem to me that this is a far cry from the concept of "bias" in a field which is typically defined by the ratio of male to female *individuals* working int hat field. It seems to me that postmoder feminists are attacking the idea, the methodology, of science, not an imbalance of the numbers of individuals within the field of "scientist".
I agree, rational thinking is indeed very masculine.

While I decry the sexism in that comment, I thank you for the clarification of my point: it seems to me that these "feminists" decry the rational scientific evidenced based methodology as "masculine" in itself and *that* is what they think needs to be changed. I disagree with this entirely. What I do agree with is the idea that it'd be good to have more women scientists and break down the gender gap in the field, for a number of reasons, from my desire for future developments from some brilliant female out there to actually come to fruition, to my desire for more female scientists because demonstrably intelligent women are attractive.
Mon Apr 12, 2010 9:58 pm
AndiferousUser avatarPosts: 2727Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:00 amLocation: Laputa Gender: Time Lord

Post Re: something about postmodern feminist epistemology

OnkelCannabia wrote:I agree, rational thinking is indeed very masculine.


Only if massive oversimplification is a function of rational thinking. ;)

borrofburi wrote:While I decry the sexism in that comment, I thank you for the clarification of my point: it seems to me that these "feminists" decry the rational scientific evidenced based methodology as "masculine" in itself and *that* is what they think needs to be changed. I disagree with this entirely. What I do agree with is the idea that it'd be good to have more women scientists and break down the gender gap in the field, for a number of reasons, from my desire for future developments from some brilliant female out there to actually come to fruition, to my desire for more female scientists because demonstrably intelligent women are attractive.
.

I'm not really arguing for one or another, but am just defining the semantics. As I haven't actually read the article and I don't know her arguments, I really can't comment on her meaning. I tend to think that "masculine" and "feminine" are largely constructs and over-exaggerations used to pigeonhole people in a society that really likes defining and organising people and putting them in their place.
"As there seemed no measure between what Watt could understand, and what he could not, so there seemed none between what he deemed certain, and what he deemed doubtful."
~ Samuel Beckett, Watt
Mon Apr 12, 2010 10:50 pm
borrofburiModeratorPosts: 3527Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 5:27 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: something about postmodern feminist epistemology

Andiferous wrote:I'm not really arguing for one or another, but am just defining the semantics. As I haven't actually read the article and I don't know her arguments, I really can't comment on her meaning. I tend to think that "masculine" and "feminine" are largely constructs and over-exaggerations used to pigeonhole people in a society that really likes defining and organising people and putting them in their place.

Oh, well if that's all you meant... Certainly; and I decry the idea of "oh you shouldn't go into science, that's a masculine profession". Or male nurses shouldn't do it because that's "feminine"...

I just am not certain that's the actual issue here. I've never met one of these people though, so not certain this is actually what they think.
Tue Apr 13, 2010 12:02 am
GiliellUser avatarPosts: 1218Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 7:29 am Gender: Female

Post Re: something about postmodern feminist epistemology

OK, I've been away for a week

So I'll reply now
First of all, I don't have any real point on that "philosophical/scientific" idea at all. I usually try to exclude "postmodernist" from my vocabulary, because, although I think it has some points to make (which are really better explained by communication theory), I consider it annoying and not very "helpful"

The point I made is that the argument "der Gegner" made is not a valid one.
I can do that with almost every text, just swap some words and make it ridiculous.
Just like the Harry Potter exampole he got his idea from didn't show that Harry Potter is about bizarre sex, his example doesn't provide any evidence or argument against postmodernist whatever
Go to heaven, we don't want you in hell with us!
Most people don't object to discrimination and oppression as such, they only object to being at the receiving end
Tue Apr 13, 2010 8:49 am
DerGegnerPosts: 26Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 5:40 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: something about postmodern feminist epistemology

OnkelCannabia wrote:I agree, rational thinking is indeed very masculine.


Most people are retards. This includes men

You are indulging in observational selection

Image
Mon May 17, 2010 3:51 am
DerGegnerPosts: 26Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 5:40 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: something about postmodern feminist epistemology

Giliell wrote:OK, I've been away for a week

So I'll reply now
First of all, I don't have any real point on that "philosophical/scientific" idea at all. I usually try to exclude "postmodernist" from my vocabulary, because, although I think it has some points to make (which are really better explained by communication theory), I consider it annoying and not very "helpful"

The point I made is that the argument "der Gegner" made is not a valid one.
I can do that with almost every text, just swap some words and make it ridiculous.
Just like the Harry Potter exampole he got his idea from didn't show that Harry Potter is about bizarre sex, his example doesn't provide any evidence or argument against postmodernist whatever


There's a difference though

In the case of my parody, there is a kind of semantic isomorphism between the original screed and my version, which makes the author look like a Nazi

In both cases, the author divisively describes the thinking of Us and Them as fundamentally different and works themselves into a paranoid froth about how the other is conspiring against them

With like no real evidence
Mon May 17, 2010 4:01 am
OzymandyusUser avatarPosts: 986Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2009 8:02 pm

Post Re: something about postmodern feminist epistemology

The difference betwen 'like' no real evidence and no real evidence is quite substantial here.

There are plenty of examples of feminists who go to far, but by and large feminists present many very valid and true points with plenty of data and logic to back it up. If you had read the actual work being summarized in that passage you may actually agree with some of the criticisms raised.

There can be little doubt that the culture and methodology of doing hard science has very firm roots in things like extreme competition, glory seeking, etc which are often more associated with the male psyche than female. There is a strong drive to beat someone else to publishing, to belittle and chastise those who put out new unaccepted ideas, etc. Could you make the case that a more 'feminine' methodology that encouraged collaboration, exchange of ideas, etc instead of the sometimes brutal competition that can go on in science labs might be both helpful to science and make women feel more comfortable? Maybe. And that is what those articles attempted to point out and they do call upon actual data. Is that more valid that choosing random words and substituting them for the lols? Definitely.
And in an instant all progress towards the sublime, the great and enduring in man fell away and became a monkey's trick.
Mon May 17, 2010 4:24 am
borrofburiModeratorPosts: 3527Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 5:27 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: something about postmodern feminist epistemology

@Ozymandyus: is that really all they want though? You make it sound like they disagree with the competitive atmosphere of science and want a more carebear-like environment... But it does not seem to me like a more "collaborating" environment is their goal... =/

DerGegner wrote:
OnkelCannabia wrote:I agree, rational thinking is indeed very masculine.


Most people are retards. This includes men

You are indulging in observational selection

http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/how_it_works.png

I think he was making a sarcastic, and somewhat insightful, comment on the ironic problem with the "post modern feminist"s attack on science: it's an attack not on the gender representation, but on the very concept of rational thinking; an attack that can only be made if they equate, or at least identify, "rational" with "masculine". At least, so far as I understand them. I fully agree with the idea that we need more female scientists, but I do not think this is what these so-called "feminists" are on about.
Mon May 17, 2010 5:01 am
AndiferousUser avatarPosts: 2727Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:00 amLocation: Laputa Gender: Time Lord

Post Re: something about postmodern feminist epistemology

borrofburi wrote:@Ozymandyus: is that really all they want though? You make it sound like they disagree with the competitive atmosphere of science and want a more carebear-like environment... But it does not seem to me like a more "collaborating" environment is their goal... =/

I suspect (having not read the article), that the point is more toward the idea that scientific reasoning tries to consider all possible options, but that it's possible (having not read the article) in this case that scientific reasoning has had a bias against a kind of feminine approach, which in itself is contradictory to the idea that science is an open-minded kind of thing.

I find it hard to believe that criticisms of scientific methodology could be inherently negative... :)

BUT, I haven't read the article. ;)
"As there seemed no measure between what Watt could understand, and what he could not, so there seemed none between what he deemed certain, and what he deemed doubtful."
~ Samuel Beckett, Watt
Mon May 17, 2010 8:15 am
OnkelCannabiaUser avatarPosts: 156Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:46 pmLocation: Germany

Post Re: something about postmodern feminist epistemology

borrofburi wrote:I think he was making a sarcastic, and somewhat insightful, comment on the ironic problem with the "post modern feminist"s attack on science: it's an attack not on the gender representation, but on the very concept of rational thinking; an attack that can only be made if they equate, or at least identify, "rational" with "masculine". At least, so far as I understand them. I fully agree with the idea that we need more female scientists, but I do not think this is what these so-called "feminists" are on about.


Thank you!

I think I need a sarcasm sign :roll:
This is the LoR, you guys don't need to think the worst of everyone who posts here :(
Mon May 17, 2010 12:39 pm
ICQ
DerGegnerPosts: 26Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 5:40 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: something about postmodern feminist epistemology

Ozymandyus wrote:There can be little doubt that the culture and methodology of doing hard science has very firm roots in things like extreme competition, glory seeking, etc which are often more associated with the male psyche than female. There is a strong drive to beat someone else to publishing, to belittle and chastise those who put out new unaccepted ideas, etc. Could you make the case that a more 'feminine' methodology that encouraged collaboration, exchange of ideas, etc instead of the sometimes brutal competition that can go on in science labs might be both helpful to science and make women feel more comfortable?


I noticed two things when reading your post

First

You seem to think dogmatism and groupthink on the one hand and snobbery, intellectual bullying, and cutthroat competition on the other in academia are a) limited to scientific and formal fields, b) the exclusive province of men, and c) excluded from the lunatic fringe of postmodernism

I decided against becoming a scientist in grad school, in addition to other factors, due to my experience with someone at my uni who got all pissy after I simply corrected her. As a researcher (prospectively in neuroscience) I would have to get grant money and I decided I'd be better off in philosophy where I wouldn't have to be tethered to money or the assholes who have it and thus be able to go after sacred cows with relative impunity

Second

You are ignoring the fact that a particular clique of postmodernist feminist writers (not to say that pomo or feminism are in themselves bad: broadly speaking both areas have important insights) not only go after the context of discovery, so to speak, but also the context of justification. In other words it's not just about the social environment of scientific research. It's about the validity per se of things like inductive reasoning, hypothesis testing, methodological heuristics, etc.

Richard Dawkins, salient as ever, adds his two bits here:

http://www.physics.nyu.edu/faculty/sokal/dawkins.html

And look at this nugget of lulz he picks apart:

The privileging of solid over fluid mechanics, and indeed the inability of science to deal with turbulent flow at all, she attributes to the association of fluidity with femininity. Whereas men have sex organs that protrude and become rigid, women have openings that leak menstrual blood and vaginal fluids... From this perspective it is no wonder that science has not been able to arrive at a successful model for turbulence. The problem of turbulent flow cannot be solved because the conceptions of fluids (and of women) have been formulated so as necessarily to leave unarticulated remainders.


Bahahaha yeah the relative paucity of research in fluid mechanics has nothing to do with the difficult chaotic dynamics encountered therein. It has nothing to do with the fact that the tools required to do so, in non-trivial cases, only emerged with the proliferation of digital computers. It's all PENIS, PENIS, PENIS, right?

It gets worse after that: I don't even know where to fucking begin with statements like "Newton's Principia Mathematica may as well have been called Newton's rape manual" and "E = mc^2 is a sexed equation". And I wonder whether spending my academic career ripping into this bullshit is just dignifying it too much, and whether it will incur a stroke

I can just see you sitting there with knitted brows thinking you're doing everyone a service by siding with these lunatics. You're not. Look at what you are defending very carefully, then come back and tell us how you feel

I will conclude my thoughts by saying that even a juvenile prank like making the authors of this drivel look like Nazis already entails waaaay more substance than they do. In fact, the shit you take after eating a can of alphabet soup makes more sense than the intellectual impostures of the like of Sandra Harding and Luce Irigaray
Last edited by DerGegner on Thu May 20, 2010 10:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
Wed May 19, 2010 8:15 am
borrofburiModeratorPosts: 3527Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 5:27 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: something about postmodern feminist epistemology

Andiferous wrote:I suspect (having not read the article), that the point is more toward the idea that scientific reasoning tries to consider all possible options, but that it's possible (having not read the article) in this case that scientific reasoning has had a bias against a kind of feminine approach, which in itself is contradictory to the idea that science is an open-minded kind of thing.

I find it hard to believe that criticisms of scientific methodology could be inherently negative... :)

But that's precisely what never seems to be well defined or explained: what precisely is having the bias? It soudns to me like the very scientific method and scientific process itself are considered "masculine"; but it strikes me as a rather silly thing to suggest that rational thinking itself is "masculine" or biased against "feminine" (and this is why I think/thought OnkelCannabia's comment was meant to be insightful and not sexist (though I guess this is now confirmed)).
Wed May 19, 2010 8:16 pm
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