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A House Built on SandExposing Postmodernist Myths About Science$
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Noretta Koertge

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780195117257

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0195117255.001.0001

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In Defense of Bacon

In Defense of Bacon

(p.195) 12 In Defense of Bacon
A House Built on Sand

Alan Soble

Oxford University Press

Feminist critics, particularly, Sandra Harding, Carolyn Merchant, and Evelyn Fox Keller, claim that misogynous sexual metaphors played an important role in the rise of modern science. The writings of Francis Bacon have been singled out as an especially egregious instance of the use of misogynous (“rape”) metaphors in scientific philosophy to promote the scientific method and to justify technological innovation. This chapter presents a defense of Bacon, arguing that the feminist reading of Bacon is based on misquotations, passages taken out of context, projection, and scholarly uncharitability.

Keywords:   Sandra Harding, Carolyn Merchant, Evelyn Fox Keller, Francis Bacon, sexual metaphor, misogyny, philosophy of science, modern scientific method

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