Personal and social knowledge

Synthese 73 (1):87 - 107 (1987)


This paper is an investigation of the relation between personal and social conditions of knowledge. A coherence theory of knowledge and justification is assumed, according to which incoming information is evaluated in terms of background information. The evaluation of incoming information in terms of background information is a higher order or metamental activity. Personal knowledge and justification is based on the coherent integration of individual information. Social knowledge and justification is based on the coherent aggregation of social information, that is, the information of individuals belonging to the social group. Personal justification and consensual justification are based upon personal and consensual probabilities respectively. Consensual and personal probabilities may differ, but under salient conditions personal probabilities will coincide with consensual probabilities and consensual probabilities will coincide with truth.

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Keith Lehrer
University of Arizona

References found in this work

Meaning and Reference.Hilary Putnam - 1973 - In Robert B. Talisse & Scott F. Aikin (eds.), The Pragmatism Reader: From Peirce Through the Present. Princeton University Press. pp. 299-308.
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Citations of this work

On the Possibility of Group Knowledge Without Belief.Raul Hakli - 2007 - Social Epistemology 21 (3):249 – 266.
Conveying Information.Peter J. Graham - 2000 - Synthese 123 (3):365-392.
Analyzing Social Knowledge.J. Angelo Corlett - 2007 - Social Epistemology 21 (3):231 – 247.
The Epistemology of Education.Lani Watson - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (3):146-159.
Committees and Consensus: How Many Heads Are Better Than One?Peter Caws - 1991 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 16 (4):375-391.

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