Group Knowledge Attributions

Jennifer Lackey

in Knowledge Ascriptions

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199693702
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741265 | DOI:
Group Knowledge Attributions

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A view growing in popularity in current philosophical literature is the ‘reliable informant view of knowledge attributions’ (RIVKA), according to which the purpose of knowledge attributions is to identify/flag reliable informants. One feature of our knowledge ascriptions that has gone largely unnoticed in this literature, however, is that knowledge is attributed, not only to individuals, but also to groups. This observation can be combined with the RIVKA, resulting in the following group version of the view: G-RIVKA: the purpose of group knowledge attributions is to identify/flag reliable informants. The chapter argues that the G-RIVKA, and therefore the RIVKA, is false. It proposes alternatives to both the RIVKA and the G-RIVKA, the ‘reliable source of information view of knowledge attributions’ — the RSIVKA — and its group counterpart — the G-RSIVKA — according to which a central purpose of knowledge attributions, individual or group, is to identify/flag reliable sources of information.

Keywords: group knowledge attributions; group knowledge; group belief; reliable informant; reliable testifier

Chapter.  14390 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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