Martin Kusch

in Knowledge by Agreement

Published in print June 2002 | ISBN: 9780199251223
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191601767 | DOI:

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Begins by introducing contextualism (David Annis, Richard Rorty, Michael Williams).Sides with the contextualists’ conception of dialectical justification and with their quietism regarding global justification. But, it criticizes Williams’ attempts to combine contextualism with reliabilism. It then sketches the main ingredients of epistemological communitarianism. Central here are the distinctions between kinds of beliefs: communal vs. individual, and performative vs. empirical. The main results are that an empirical belief can only become knowledge by becoming communal; and that all empirical beliefs presuppose social institutions. In conclusion, it is maintained that knowledge is political and that knowledge is a social kind.

Keywords: communitarian epistemology; contextualism; dialectical justification; kinds; performative beliefs; quietism; reliabilism

Chapter.  14558 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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