‘Knowledge’ as a natural kind term

Synthese 191 (3):439-457 (2014)

Authors
Victor Kumar
Boston University
Abstract
Naturalists who conceive of knowledge as a natural kind are led to treat ‘knowledge’ as a natural kind term. ‘Knowledge,’ then, must behave semantically in the ways that seem to support a direct reference theory for other natural kind terms. A direct reference theory for ‘knowledge,’ however, appears to leave open too many possibilities about the identity of knowledge. Intuitively, states of belief count as knowledge only if they meet epistemic criteria, not merely if they bear a causal/historical relation to the term. I will develop this objection and show that it is grounded in modal considerations central to Kripke’s work on reference. I will also argue that a more plausible externalist semantics for natural kind terms disarms the objection
Keywords Knowledge  Natural kind term  Direct reference  Skepticism  Kornblith  Kripke
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-013-0281-5
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References found in this work BETA

The Language of Thought.Jerry A. Fodor - 1975 - Harvard University Press.
Naming and Necessity.Saul A. Kripke - 1980 - Harvard University Press.
Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Oxford University Press.

View all 32 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Moral Judgment as a Natural Kind.Victor Kumar - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (11):2887-2910.
Psychopathy and Internalism.Victor Kumar - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (3):318-345.
The Empirical Identity of Moral Judgment: Table 1.Victor Kumar - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (265):783-804.
The Fall From Eden: Why Libertarianism Isn't Justified By Experience.Oisín Deery - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (2):319-334.

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