Fun_People Archive
22 May
RSOTD (review snippet of the day) - Gary McGath

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Wed, 22 May 96 14:06:13 -0700
To: Fun_People
Subject: RSOTD (review snippet of the day) - Gary McGath

Forwarded-by: Keith Bostic <>

    [M]any feminist tracts accept and defend the notion that there is no
    objective" science, merely a variety of perspectives, one of which--
    patriarchal science--has been "valorized" and "empowered" so as to
    preclude until now the possibility of a feminist science.

Notions of feminist science range from the merely silly -- insisting that
"feminist algebra's" word problems should portray the activities of lesbian
couples, or claiming that the practice of "manipulating" data proves that
mathematics is manipulative -- to the positively inimical to science --
asserting the necessity "to reinvent both science and theorizing itself to
make sense of women's social experience." The authors point out that the
feminists assert, but never prove, that science is somehow inadequate or
mistaken without this feminist regeneration. The most amusing comment in
the chapter is in response to Sandra Harding's characterization of Newton's
Principia as a "rape manual": "We pity coming generations of freshmen
physics students who, titillated by this famous remark, will spend long
hours thumbing through that magisterial work, looking for the dirty bits."

	  In a review by Gary McGath of ``Higher Superstition:  The Academic
	  Left and its Quarrels with Science'' Paul R. Gross and Normal
	  Levitt, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994, 314 pages, $25.95.

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