Epistemic unities

Erkenntnis 59 (3):365 - 388 (2003)
Abstract
I bring together social ontology and social epistemology by consideringsocial entities (``epistemic unities'') that are constituted by the holdingof epistemic relations between their members. In particular, I focus onthe relation of taking someone as an expert. Among the types of structuresexamined are ones with a single expert and one or more non-experts whomay or may not know of each other's situation; and ones with more thanone expert, including cases in which the relation between the experts ishierarchical and cases in which it is symmetrical. These structures modela variety of social situations which can thus be given a unified treatment.Among the cases I discuss are persons, which I argue are multiple-expertunities of persons at times. Taking a person as a social unity like this offersa clear sense in which some groups can also be person-like.
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