Chapter

Social Functions of Knowledge Attributions

James R. Beebe

in Knowledge Ascriptions

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199693702
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741265 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199693702.003.0010
Social Functions of Knowledge Attributions

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Drawing upon work in experimental philosophy and evolutionary game theory, the chapter argues that one of the roles the concept of knowledge plays in our social cognitive ecology is that of enabling us to make adaptively important distinctions between different kinds of blameworthy and blameless behaviors. In particular, the chapter defends the view that knowledge enables us to distinguish which agents are most worthy of blame for inflicting harms, violating social norms, or cheating in situations of social exchange.

Keywords: experimental philosophy; evolutionary game theory; knowledge; blameworthiness

Chapter.  11489 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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