Why knowledge is the property of a community and possibly none of its members

Philosophical Quarterly 65 (260):417-441 (2015)
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Abstract

Mainstream analytic epistemology regards knowledge as the property of individuals, rather ‎than groups. Drawing on insights from the reality of knowledge production and dissemination ‎in the sciences, I argue, from within the analytic framework, that this view is wrong. I defend ‎the thesis of ‘knowledge-level justification communalism’, which states that at least some ‎knowledge, typically knowledge obtained from expert testimony, is the property of a ‎community and possibly none of its individual members, in that only the community or some ‎members of it collectively possesses knowledge-level justification for its individual members’ ‎beliefs. I address several objections that individuals, qua individuals, have or are able to ‎acquire knowledge-level justification for all the beliefs they obtain from expert testimony. I ‎argue that the problem I identify with individualism is invariant under any specific account of ‎justification, internalist or externalist. ‎

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Boaz Miller
Zefat Academic College

Citations of this work

The Social Epistemology of Consensus and Dissent.Boaz Miller - 2019 - In David Henderson, Peter Graham, Miranda Fricker & Nikolaj Jang Lee Linding Pedersen (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Social Epistemology. New York: Routledge. pp. 228-237.
Group Inquiry.Joshua Habgood-Coote - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (3):1099-1123.
Groups Can Know How.Chris Dragos - 2019 - American Philosophical Quarterly 56 (3):265-276.

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References found in this work

Epistemic Luck.Duncan Pritchard - 2005 - Oxford University Press UK.
Knowledge in a Social World.Alvin Ira Goldman - 1999 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
The Fate of Knowledge.Helen E. Longino - 2001 - Princeton University Press.
Scientific Perspectivism.Ronald N. Giere - 2006 - University of Chicago Press.

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