Justified Group Belief, Group Knowledge and Being in a Position to Know

Episteme:1-8 (forthcoming)

Abstract

Jennifer Lackey has recently presented a new and lucid analysis of the notion of justified group belief, i.e. a set of individually necessary and jointly sufficient conditions for a group to justifiedly believe some proposition. In this paper, however, I argue that the analysans she proposes is too narrow: one of the conditions she takes to be necessary for justified group belief is not necessary. To substantiate this claim, I present a potential counterexample to Lackey's analysis where a group knows and thus justifiedly believes some proposition but there is no single group member who actually believes that proposition. I close by defending the example against the objection that the group in question does not know but is at most in a position to know the target proposition.

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