University of Notre Dame
Philosophy of Science After Feminism
Janet Kourany was born and raised in New York City
(traces of a New York accent remain), and earned her B.S. and Ph.D.
degrees at Columbia University. She taught at Rutgers University
and the University of Utah before joining her husband (Jim Sterba,
a Pitt alumnus) at the University of Notre Dame, where she is a
Faculty Fellow of the John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology,
and Values and an Associate Professor of Philosophy. Her current
research focuses on science and social values and feminist philosophy.
While at the Center she worked on two projects: to replace the ideal
of value-free science with one that is as epistemically and politically
powerful as the old ideal aspired to be; and finding ways to shift
the unit of analysis within philosophy of science from (an historicized,
socialized) science-in-a-vacuum to science-in-society, so as to
make philosophy of science more socially relevant. Her most cherished
experience at the Center: listening to philosophy of science talks
in a cathedral while eating bagels and cream cheese—a real
treat for a New York-bred philosopher of science from Notre Dame.
Philosophy of Science after Feminism, the project I started at the Center, is now done and out (Oxford 2010), and I recently had two author-meets-critics sessions on it—one at the last PSA meeting (PSA 2010) with John Dupré, Ron Giere, Miriam Solomon, and Kristina Rolin, and one at the last APA meeting (2012 APA Pacific Division) with Hugh Lacey, Matt Brown, and Libby Potter. The papers from these sessions are forthcoming in Perspectives on Science and Philosophical Studies. Other recent publications include “Integrating the Ethical into Scientific Rationality” in Science in the Context of Application: Methodological Change, Conceptual Transformation, Cultural Reorientation, ed. Martin Carrier and Alfred Nordmann, Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science, vol. 274 (Springer, 2011) and
“Feminist Critiques: Harding and Longino” in Philosophy of Science: The Key Thinkers, ed. James Robert Brown (Continuum, 2012). I am now working on a new book project on agnotology, the study of ignorance, especially socially constructed ignorance, entitled Forbidden Knowledge and have already organized a conference on the topic with Martin Carrier in Germany last summer and given several lectures on it both in Europe and the United States.