Knowledge and Social Roles: A Virtue Approach

Episteme 8 (1):99-111 (2011)
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Abstract

Attributor contextualism and subject-sensitive invariantism both suggest ways in which our concept of knowledge depends on a context. Both offer approaches that incorporate traditionally non-epistemic elements into our standards for knowledge. But neither can account for the fact that the social role of a subject affects the standards that the subject must meet in order to warrant a knowledge attribution. I illustrate the dependence of the standards for knowledge on the social roles of the knower with three types of examplesand show why neither attributor contextualism nor subject-sensitive invariantism can explain them. I then suggest that subject-sensitive invariantism should be supplemented with insights from virtue epistemology so that it can explain the dependence of the standards of knowledge on social roles. This supplementation of subject-sensitive invariantism helps to solve a persistent problem facing that theory: the case of knowledge attributions made by those in high-stakes contexts about subjects in low-stakes contexts.

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Sarah Wright
University of Georgia

Citations of this work

On Deniability.Alexander Dinges & Julia Zakkou - 2023 - Mind 132 (526):372-401.
Charging Others With Epistemic Vice.Ian James Kidd - 2016 - The Monist 99 (3):181-197.
Anti-intellectualism, egocentrism and bank case intuitions.Alexander Dinges - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (11):2841-2857.

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References found in this work

Knowledge and lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2004 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and practical interests.Jason Stanley - 2005 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Knowledge in an uncertain world.Jeremy Fantl & Matthew McGrath - 2009 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Matthew McGrath.
Elusive knowledge.David Lewis - 1996 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 74 (4):549 – 567.

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