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Vol. 3, No. 2 = No. 7 (2000 Summer)

Feminist Epistemology: A Reconstruction and Integration of Women's Knowledge and Experiences

  • Joanne Ardovini-Brooker
June 21, 2017


Epistemology is the study of knowing. It is the basis for knowing and how it is that people come to know what they know (Johnson, 1995, p. 97). Originating from philosophy, epistemology seems to come to us from a number of disciplines, i. e.: sociology, psychology, and political science, among others (Duran, 1991, p. xi).
These fields have all contributed to what is known as feminist epistemology. This occurred with the emergence of materials that professed to spelling out what feminist accounts of knowledge entail and what is implied by ways of knowing pertaining to women (p. xi). The term feminist epistemology does not have a single referent. Feminist theorists have used the term variously to refer to women's "ways of knowing," "women's experiences," or simple "women's knowledge" (Alcoff Potter, 1993, p. 1). Therefore, the term feminist epistemology is a means of summarizing, to some extent, and integrating women's knowledge and experiences. Inherent in feminist epistemology is the "multiplicity of women's voices" (Duran, 1991, p. xiii).