Book

Knowledge in a Social World

Alvin I. Goldman

Published in print January 1999 | ISBN: 9780198238201
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597527 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198238207.001.0001
Knowledge in a Social World

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A certain conception of social epistemology is articulated and applied to numerous social arenas. This conception retains epistemology's traditional interest in truth and reliable inquiry, but replaces its customary emphasis on solitary knowers with a focus on social institutions and interpersonal practices. Postmodernism, science studies, and pragmatism pose worries about the meaning and attainability of objective truth and knowledge. After laying these concerns to rest, “veritistic” social epistemology is advanced as a normative discipline seeking practices and institutions that would best foster knowledge. The book explores forms and methods of communication, including norms of argumentation, information technology, and institutional structures governing speech and the media. Social dimensions of knowledge quests are explored in science, law, democracy, and education. The book examines popular topics in contemporary epistemology such as testimony and Bayesianism, while breaking new ground by connecting epistemology with historically unrelated branches of philosophy such as political and legal theory. Democracy's success, it is argued, requires the attainment of certain epistemic desiderata, and substantive justice depends on well‐chosen procedures of legal evidence.

Keywords: argumentation; Bayesianism; democracy; information technology; knowledge; legal evidence; media; science studies; social epistemology; truth

Book.  422 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Metaphysics

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Table of Contents

Epistemology and Postmodern Resistance in Knowledge in a Social World

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Truth in Knowledge in a Social World

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The Framework in Knowledge in a Social World

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Testimony in Knowledge in a Social World

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Argumentation in Knowledge in a Social World

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Science in Knowledge in a Social World

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Law in Knowledge in a Social World

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Democracy in Knowledge in a Social World

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