Interpretation and epistemic evaluation in Goldman's descriptive epistemology

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 31 (2):163-186 (2001)
One branch of Alvin Goldman's proposed "scientific epistemology" is devoted to the scientific study of how folk epistemic evaluators acquire and deploy the concepts of knowledge and justified belief. The author argues that such a "descriptive epistemology," as Goldman calls it, requires a more sophisticated theory of interpretation than is provided by the simulation theory Goldman adopts. The author also argues that any adequate account of folk epistemic concepts must reconstruct the intersubjective conceptual roles those concepts play in discursive practices. In other words, descriptive epistemology also requires a theory of communicative action and an account of the practical abilities agents must have to engage in discursive practices.
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