Sandra Harding’s Sciences from Below

Over at Metapsychology Online Reviews, Ian James Kidd writes a generally positive review of Sandra Harding’s most recent book – Sciences from Below: Feminisms, Postcolonialities, and Modernities (Duke UP, 2008). An excerpt from the review:

“Drawing upon contemporary literature in the history and philosophy of science, Harding argues that the alleged ‘objectivity’ of the sciences has for too long disguised its parochialism and ‘Eurocentrism’ and allowed it to provide intellectual legitimacy to projects of Western cultural and intellectual imperialism. To this end, she focuses on the exclusion of ‘peoples at the peripheries of modernity’, namely women and the peoples of non-Western cultures, exposing the marginalization of their values and perceptions, and calls for ‘realistic reassessments of both Western and non-Western knowledge systems and the social worlds’ they are embedded within (pp.5-6). The result is an ambitious and persuasive call for philosophers of science to take seriously, and engage with, social justice projects and political policymaking. This need not entail an abandonment of traditional philosophical concerns with, say, the role of values in science or the foundations of scientific knowledge, since, as Harding emphasizes, these all pertain to the authority of the sciences: her ‘postcolonial’ focus simply takes these familiar topics of philosophy of sciences and extends them into the social and political sphere,” (Kidd 2009).

The book has also been reviewed in the Feminist Review, and Technology and Culture.