Group agency and epistemic dependency

Episteme 9 (3):235-244 (2012)
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Abstract

Modern epistemic questions have largely been focused around the individual and her ability to acquire knowledge autonomously. More recently epistemologists have begun to look more broadly in providing accounts of knowledge by considering its social context, where the individual depends on others for true beliefs. Hardwig explains the effect of this shift starkly, arguing that to reject epistemic dependency is to deny certain true beliefs widely held throughout society and, more specifically, it is to deny that science and scholarship can provide true belief. Alternatively, Hardwig argues that beliefs could be granted to communities or groups but denied to individuals. This paper approaches these broad assertions using a group agency model from List and Pettit. Through a discussion of the ‘epistemic desideratum’ of group agents, I conclude that List and Pettit give us reason to accept some of Hardwig's concerns, but that attributing beliefs to groups does not require us to deny them to individuals, rather an individual can use a group agent as a source of epistemic dependence.Send article to KindleTo send this article to your Kindle, first ensure [email protected] is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply. Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.GROUP AGENCY AND EPISTEMIC DEPENDENCYVolume 9, Issue 3Aaron DewittDOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/epi.2012.13Your Kindle email address Please provide your Kindle [email protected]@kindle.com Available formats PDF Please select a format to send. By using this service, you agree that you will only keep articles for personal use, and will not openly distribute them via Dropbox, Google Drive or other file sharing services. Please confirm that you accept the terms of use. Cancel Send ×Send article to Dropbox To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox. GROUP AGENCY AND EPISTEMIC DEPENDENCYVolume 9, Issue 3Aaron DewittDOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/epi.2012.13Available formats PDF Please select a format to send. By using this service, you agree that you will only keep articles for personal use, and will not openly distribute them via Dropbox, Google Drive or other file sharing services. Please confirm that you accept the terms of use. Cancel Send ×Send article to Google Drive To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive. GROUP AGENCY AND EPISTEMIC DEPENDENCYVolume 9, Issue 3Aaron DewittDOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/epi.2012.13Available formats PDF Please select a format to send. By using this service, you agree that you will only keep articles for personal use, and will not openly distribute them via Dropbox, Google Drive or other file sharing services. Please confirm that you accept the terms of use. Cancel Send ×Export citation Request permission.

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Aaron Dewitt
University of Edinburgh

References found in this work

Experts: Which ones should you trust?Alvin I. Goldman - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 63 (1):85-110.
Epistemic dependence.John Hardwig - 1985 - Journal of Philosophy 82 (7):335-349.
The role of trust in knowledge.John Hardwig - 1991 - Journal of Philosophy 88 (12):693-708.

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