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The Case For Strategic Realism: A Response To Lawson

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  • Sandra Harding
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    Abstract

    Tony Lawson makes a compelling case that it is only naive realism that feminist social scientists and philosophers need to avoid, not any and all realist arguments. However, he leaves mysterious, on the one hand, why so many feminists have preferred epistemological to ontological arguments and, on the other hand, why naive realism, which is indeed problematic, can appear to be a good scientific/epistemic strategy. The essay below tries to demystify these phenomena, notes a possible misleading aspect of his use of the term "epistemological relativism", and argues for a somewhat more limited value of the ontological argument he proposes for standpoint epistemologies.

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    File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/135457099337842
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Feminist Economics.

    Volume (Year): 5 (1999)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 127-133

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:5:y:1999:i:3:p:127-133

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    Web page: http://www.tandfonline.com/RFEC20

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    Related research

    Keywords: Epistemology; Ontology; Realism; Relativism; Standpoint Theory;

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    Cited by:
    1. Wendy Olsen, 2006. "Pluralist Methodology for Development Economics: The Example of Moral Economy of Indian Labour Markets," Economics Series Working Papers GPRG-WPS-053, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    2. Siobhan Austen & Therese Jefferson, 2006. "Comparing responses to critical realism," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(2), pages 257-282.
    3. Wendy Olsen, 2008. "Pluralism, Tenancy and Poverty: Cultivating Open-Mindedness in Poverty Studies," Working Papers id:1684, eSocialSciences.
    4. Wendy Olsen, 2006. "Pluralism, poverty and sharecropping: Cultivating open-mindedness in development studies," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(7), pages 1130-1157.
    5. Garofalo, M.R. & Marra, M, 2007. "Work-Life Reconciliation Policies From Well-Being To Development: Rethinking EU Gender Mainstreaming," MPRA Paper 9598, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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