Modern Science Questioned for Good Reason
The author reveals ignorance concerning the aims of a ``feminist science.'' The eco-feminist movement, to which I believe he is referring, argues that the objectification and instrumentalization of nature has led to a basic dualism between ``culture'' and ``nature'' in which culture is given privileged status over nature. This dualism legitimizes the subjugation of groups seen as being ``closer to nature,'' such as women and indigenous peoples.
Eco-feminists seek to elevate noninstrumental ways of knowing, such as myth, in order to illuminate the interconnectedness between man and nature. A recognition of interconnectedness, they argue, would be a powerful medium for averting ecological crisis and for the liberation of women, indigenous people, and nonhuman nature from a white, male-dominated, Western culture. The goal, however, is not the rejection of science, but the mediation of science with myth and other nonoppositional ways of knowing in order to achieve a more equal and ecologically responsible community.
The author also drums up fear that such a movement will legitimize the superiority of one race or culture over another. Anyone at all versed in a ``feminist science'' would realize that this is not the goal. He seems to forget that sciences such as anthropology and biology were utilized in the late 19th century to scientifically ground the supposed inferiority of nonwhites.
Because the hard sciences can in no way yield an ethic or prescribe a way of living in a community, these disciplines are much more likely to be used for immoral purposes than is a way of knowing which stresses the interrelatedness of all God's creatures. Christopher Adamo, West Hartford, Conn.
Your letters are welcome. For publication they must be signed and include your address and telephone number. Only a selection can be published, and none acknowledged. Letters should be addressed to ``Readers Write,'' and can be sent by Internet E-mail (200 word maximum) to OPED@RACHEL.CSPS.COM, by fax to 617-450-2317, or by mail to One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115