- This article is about the American philosopher not the Australian sociologist and university administrator of the same name.
Sandra G. Harding (born 1935) is an American philosopher of feminist and postcolonial theory, epistemology, research methodology and philosophy of science.
She has contributed to standpoint theory and to the multicultural study of science. She is the author or editor of many books on these topics, and was one of the founders of the fields of feminist epistemology and philosophy of science. Her ways of developing standpoint theory and stronger standards for objectivity ("strong objectivity") have been influential in the social sciences as well as in philosophy, and have created discussions in the natural sciences.
She currently is a professor at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. Sandra Harding earned her PhD from New York University (NYU) in 1973.
Former Director of the UCLA Center for the Study of Women (1996–2000), and co-editor of Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society (2000–2005), she previously taught at the University of Delaware for many years, and has been a visiting professor at the University of Amsterdam, the University of Costa Rica, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich. She was an invited lecturer for Phi Beta Kappa in 2007-2008.
She has consulted to a number of international agencies on feminist and postcolonial science issues, including the Pan-American Health Organization, the United Nations Development Fund for Women, and the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development. She was invited to co-author a chapter on "Science and Technology: The Gender Dimension" for the UNESCO World Science Report 1996.
During what is known now as the "Science Wars", she was part of a debate regarding the value-neutrality of the sciences. This aspect of her work has been criticized by some scientists. Harding referred to Newton's Principia Mathematica as a "rape manual" in her 1986 book "The Science Question in Feminism", a characterization that she later said she regretted.
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