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Is Longino's Conception of Objectivity Feminist?




Helen Longino's account of objectivity has been highly regarded by both feminist and mainstream philosophers of science. However, I have encountered three feminist philosophers who have all offered one especially compelling feminist critique of Longino's view: far from vindicating or privileging the work of feminist scientists, Longino's account actually requires the active cultivation of anti-feminist and misogynist scientists to balance out the possibility of feminist bias. I call this objection the Nazi problem, for the particular version that claims that her view requires even the active cultivation of Nazi scientists in objective inquiry. In this paper I consider one response to the Nazi problem, which I call the good faith argument. I show that the good faith argument itself is just as objectionable, on feminist grounds, as the Nazi problem it is meant to address.