Researcher ORCID Identifier

Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Rima Basu

Rights Information

© 2021 Qinfei Zou


“Objectivity” is an essential characteristic of a good and reliable process for knowledge acquisition. It increases the possibility for inquirers to get at universal truth, free from changeable contexts and human preferences. Thus, it is imperative to understand what factors influence the obtainment of objectivity. One of the factors I explore in this paper is social identity. I am interested in the relationship between social identity and objectivity in order to answer the question of which people are in a better position to maximize objectivity. I argue that neither Harding’s standpoint epistemology, nor naturalized epistemology, provides a satisfactory account on this particular issue. Instead, I propose a care-account of objectivity, inspired by Sripada’s deep-self theory. I argue that whether an epistemic agent is in a position to maximize objectivity depends on whether the epistemic agents possess the care of being socially recognized and valued as they person one really is. This account provides a more personal and nuanced explanation, and it avoids some counterintuitive consequences from both Harding’s standpoint epistemology and naturalized epistemology. This account also has the potential to provide an alternative route to understand and resolve other epistemic dilemmas.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.