Chapter

The Sources of Knowledge

Robert Audi

in The Oxford Handbook of Epistemology

Published in print November 2002 | ISBN: 9780195130058
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833481 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195130057.003.0003
The Sources of Knowledge

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In “The Sources of Knowledge,” Robert Audi distinguishes what he calls the “four standard basic sources” by which we acquire knowledge or justified belief: perception, memory, consciousness, and reason. With the exception of memory, he distinguishes each of the above as a basic source of knowledge (a source that yields knowledge or justified belief without positive dependence on another source). Audi contrasts basic sources with nonbasic sources, concentrating on testimony. After clarifying the relationship between a source and a ground, or “what it is in virtue of which one knows or justifiedly believes,” Audi evaluates the basic sources’ individual and collective autonomy as well as their vulnerability to defeasibility. He also examines the relationship of coherence to knowledge and justification, noting the distinction between a negative dependence on incoherence and a positive dependence on coherence.

Keywords: Robert Audi; basic; coherence; consciousness; defeasibility; ground; knowledge; memory; perception; reason; source; testimony

Chapter.  12104 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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