Human knowledge/human knowers: Comments on Michael Williams' “what's so special about human knowledge?”

Episteme 12 (2):269-273 (2015)
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In Michael Williams' “What's So Special About Human knowledge?” he argues that the kind of knowledge characteristic of adult humans is distinctive in that it involves epistemic responsibility. In particular, when an adult human has knowledge, they have a certain kind of epistemic authority, and that to attribute knowledge to them is to grant them a certain kind of authority over the subject matter. I argue that, while it is true that when we attribute knowledge to adult humans, we typically also attribute to them the relevant kind of epistemic authority, this need not be because adult humans have a distinctive kind of knowledge. Rather, it may be because adult humans are distinctive kinds of beings - beings that can have epistemic authority over the subject matter about which they know. The only thing that need be special about human knowledge is that it's had by human knowers.



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Jeremy Fantl
University of Calgary

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The Search for the Source of Epistemic Good.Linda Zagzebski - 2003 - Metaphilosophy 34 (1-2):12-28.

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