INTRODUCTION

Feminism has been centrally concerned with the question of epistemology since its inception. Feminist writers/scholars have sought to challenge the basis and characteristics of epistemologies which posit a conception of ‘truth’, which is essentially ‘reality’ interpreted from a male perspective. In the necessarily intense and vigorous debate which has resulted—on the significance, nature and validity of a feminist epistemology—feminism has challenged the concept of a traditional ‘Enlightenment’, rationalist epistemology whose characteristics including rationality, objectivity, reason and language are seen by some branches of feminism as essentially masculinist. This chapter examines the current state of feminist epistemological debates and feminist theorising.