Alison Wylie

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Alison Wylie
Era 20th century philosophy
Region Western Philosophy
School Analytic philosophy
Main interests
Philosophy of science, Philosophy of social science, Philosophy of archaeology, Feminist philosophy

Alison Wylie is a Canadian feminist philosopher of science at the University of Washington, Seattle. She is recognized for her work on epistemological questions in archaeological practice and feminist research in the social sciences. Her work is primarily in social epistemology and standpoint theory.

Education and Career[edit]

Wylie did her undergraduate work at Mount Allison University. She earned MAs in philosophy and anthropology and a PhD in Philosophy from SUNY Binghamton. Prior to teaching at University of Washington Wylie taught at Washington University in St. Louis (1998-2003), Columbia University (2003-2005), and the University of Western Ontario (1985-1998).

Wylie received a Presidential Recognition Award from the [Society of American Archivists] in 1995[1] for her work as a co-chair on the Ethics in Archaeology Committee which developed the current Principles of Archaeological Ethics in use by the SAA.[2] Wylie was the senior editor of Hypatia, A Journal of Feminist Philosophy from 2008-2013[3] and President of the American Philosophical Association Pacific Division during 2011-12.[4] In 2013, SWIP (Society for Women in Philosophy) named her Distinguished Woman Philosopher of the year.[5]



  • Feminist Legacies/Feminist Futures, Hypatia 25th Anniversary Special Issue, co-edited with Lori Gruen, Hypatia, 25.4 (2010).
  • Value-Free Science? Ideals and Illusions, co-edited with Harold Kincaid and John Dupré, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2007.
  • Doing Archaeology as a Feminist, Special Issue of the Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, guest edited with Margaret W. Conkey, Volume 14.3 (2007).
  • Epistemic Diversity and Dissent, Special Issue of Episteme: Journal of Social Epistemology, guest editor, Volume 3.1 (2006).
  • Feminist Science Studies, Special Issue of Hypatia, co-edited with Lynn Hankinson Nelson; Volume 19.2, Winter (2004).
  • Thinking From Things: Essays in the Philosophy of Archaeology, University of California Press, Berkeley CA, 2002.
  • Ethics in American Archaeology: Challenges for the 1990s, co-edited with Mark J. Lynott, Society for American Archaeology Special Report Series, Washington D.C., 1995. 2nd revised edition, Ethics in American Archaeology, Society for American Archaeology, Washington D.C., 2000.
  • Breaking Anonymity: The Chilly Climate for Women Faculty, co-edited with members of the Chilly Collective, Wilfrid Laurier University Press, Waterloo Ontario, 1995.


  • “’Do Not Do Unto Others…’: Cultural Misrecognition and the Harms of Appropriation in an Open Source World,” co-authored with George Nicholas: in Appropriating the Past: Philosophical Perspectives on the Practice of Archaeology, edited by Geoffrey Scarre and Robin Coningham, Cambridge University Press, 2012, pp 195-221.
  • “Critical Distance: Stabilizing Evidential Claims in Archaeology”: in Evidence, Inference and Enquiry, edited by Philip Dawid, William Twining, and Mimi Vasilaki, Oxford University Press, 2011, pp. 371-394.
  • “Standpoint (still) Matters: Research on Women, Work, and the Academy,” in Feminist Epistemology and Philosophy of Science'': 'Power in Knowledge', edited by Heidi Grasswick, Springer, 2011, pp. 157-179.
  • “Archaeological Facts in Transit: The ‘Eminent Mounds’ of Central North America”, in How Well do ‘Facts’ Travel?: The Dissemination of Reliable Knowledge, edited by Peter Howlett and Mary S. Morgan, Cambridge University Press, 2010, pp. 301-322.
  • “The Appropriation of Archaeological Finds,” co-authored with George Nicholas, in The Ethics of Cultural Appropriation edited by James O. Young and Conrad G. Brunk, Routledge, 2009, pp. 11-54.
  • "Agnatology in/of Archaeology,” in Agnatology: The Cultural Production of Ignorance, edited by Robert N. Proctor and Londa Schiebinger; Stanford University Press, Stanford University Press, 2008, pp. 183-205.
  • “The Feminism Question in Science: What Does it Mean to ‘Do Social Science as a Feminist’?”, Handbook of Feminist Research, edited by Sharlene Hesse-Biber, Sage, 2007, pp. 567-578. Revised 2nd edition, 2012, pp. 544-556.
  • “Philosophy of Archaeology; Philosophy in Archaeology,” in The Philosophy of Anthropology and Sociology, edited by Stephen Turner and Mark Risjord; volume 15, Handbook of the Philosophy of Science, Elsevier, 2007, pp. 517-549.
  • “Moderate Relativism, Political Objectivism,” in Contexts of Influence: Considering the Work of Bruce G. Trigger, edited by Ronald F. Williamson, McGill-Queens University Press, in press.
  • "The Promise and Perils of an Ethic of Stewardship," Beyond Ethics: Anthropological Moralities on the Boundaries of the Public and the Professional, edited by Lynn Meskell and Peter Pells, Berg Press, London, 2005, pp. 47–68.
  • “Why Standpoint Matters,” in Science and Other Cultures: Issues in Philosophies of Science and Technology, edited by Robert Figueroa and Sandra Harding, Routledge, New York, 2003, pp. 26–48. Reprinted in The Feminist Standpoint Theory Reader: Intellectual and Political Controversies, edited by Sandra Harding, Routledge, New York, 2004, pp. 339–351.
  • “Doing Social Science as a Feminist: The Engendering of Archaeology,” in Feminism in Twentieth Century Science, Technology, and Medicine, edited by Angela N. H. Creager, Elizabeth Lunbeck, and Londa Schiebinger, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2001, pp. 23–45.
  • “Feminism in Philosophy of Science: Making Sense of Contingency and Constraint,” in Companion to Feminism in Philosophy, edited by Miranda Fricker and Jennifer Hornsby, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2000, pp. 166–182.
  • “Standpoint Matters, in Archaeology for Example,” Primate Encounters: Models of Science, Gender, and Society, edited by Shirley C. Strum and Linda M. Fedigan, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2000, pp. 243-260.
  • “Rethinking Unity as a Working Hypothesis for Philosophy of Science: How Archaeologists Exploit the Disunity of Science,” Perspectives on Science 7.3 (2000): 293-317.
  • “Questions of Evidence, Legitimacy, and the (Dis)Unity of Science” American Antiquity 65.2 (2000): 227-237.
  • “Good Science, Bad Science, or Science as Usual?: Feminist Critiques of Science,” in Women in Human Evolution, edited by Lori D. Hager, Routledge, New York, 1997, pp. 29-55. Reprinted in Contemporary Archaeology in Theory: The New Pragmatism, edited by Robert W. Preucel and Stephen A. Mrozowski, Wiley-Blackwell, 2010, pp. 225-243.
  • “Women and Violence: Feminist Practice and Quantitative Method,” co-authored with Lorraine Greaves and the staff of the London Battered Women’s Advocacy Center, in Changing Methods: Feminists Transforming Practice, edited by Sandra Burt and Lorraine Code, Broadview Press, Peterborough ON, 1995, pp. 301-325.
  • “On 'Heavily Decomposing Red Herrings': Scientific Method in Archaeology and the Ladening of Evidence with Theory,” in Metaarchaeology, edited by Lester Embree, Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Kluwer, Boston, 1992, pp. 269-288. Reprinted in Interpretive Archaeology: A Reader edited by Julian Thomas, Leicester University Press, London, 2000, pp. 145-157.
  • “Reasoning About Ourselves: Feminist Methodology in the Social Sciences,” in Women and Reason, edited by Elizabeth Harvey and Kathleen Okruhlik, University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor MI, 1992, pp. 225-244. Reprinted in Readings in the Philosophy of Social Science edited by Michael Martin and Lee McIntyre, MIT Press, 1994, pp. 611-624.
  • “Archaeological Cables and Tacking: The Implications of Practice for Bernstein's 'Options Beyond Objectivism and Relativism',” Philosophy of the Social Sciences 19 (1989): 1-18.
  • “The Interpretive Dilemma,” in Critical Traditions in Contemporary Archaeology, edited by Pinsky and Wylie, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1989, pp. 18-28.
  • “Reassessing the Profile and Needs of Battered Women,” co-authored with Lorraine Greaves and Nelson Heapy, Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health 7.2 (1988): 292-303.
  • “Arguments for Scientific Realism: The Ascending Spiral,” American Philosophical Quarterly 23 (1986): 287-297.
  • “The Reaction Against Analogy,” Advances in Archaeological Method and Theory 8 (1985): 63-111.
  • “Between Philosophy and Archaeology,” American Antiquity 50 (1985): 478-490.

Talks and Interviews[edit]


External Links[edit]

  • Alison Wylie's homepage at the University of Washington (Seattle) -