Knowledge and Social Roles: A Virtue Approach

Episteme 8 (1):99-111 (2011)
Abstract
Attributor contextualism and subject-sensitive invariantism both suggest ways in which our concept of knowledge depends on a context. Both offer approaches that incorporate traditionally non-epistemic elements into our standards for knowledge. But neither can account for the fact that the social role of a subject affects the standards that the subject must meet in order to warrant a knowledge attribution. I illustrate the dependence of the standards for knowledge on the social roles of the knower with three types of examplesand show why neither attributor contextualism nor subject-sensitive invariantism can explain them. I then suggest that subject-sensitive invariantism should be supplemented with insights from virtue epistemology so that it can explain the dependence of the standards of knowledge on social roles. This supplementation of subject-sensitive invariantism helps to solve a persistent problem facing that theory: the case of knowledge attributions made by those in high-stakes contexts about subjects in low-stakes contexts.
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DOI 10.3366/epi.2011.0009
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Knowledge and Lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
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