The Social Transmission of Knowledge

Alan Millar

in The Nature and Value of Knowledge

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780199586264
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191723360 | DOI:
The Social Transmission of Knowledge

Show Summary Details


This chapter argues that the goal of enquiry is reflective knowledge. Reflective knowledge is knowledge along with knowledge of how we know, or at least knowledge that we know. Recently discussed puzzlement about the value of knowledge is circumvented. The social transmission of knowledge is explored via a discussion of straightforward cases of testimony. An account of those cases is developed, drawing on the account of knowledge from indicators in the previous chapter but also invoking the idea that there is a practice of informing others by telling them things. A practice is taken to be a cluster of essentially rule-governed activities. It is argued that the account of practices does not suffice to explain the straightforward cases. We need to make sense of how we can recognize trustworthiness on the matter in hand.

Keywords: knowledge from indicators; practices; reflective knowledge; rule-governed activities; testimony; trustworthiness; value of knowledge

Chapter.  12665 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.