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Chapter 8 - Explaining Knowledge

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 July 2020

Christoph Kelp
University of Glasgow
John Greco
Georgetown University, Washington DC
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It is suggested that instead of seeking to provide a reductive account of knowledge in general and treating particular kinds of knowledge, e.g., perceptual knowledge, in its light we should aim to shed light on knowledge in general by providing substantive accounts of the diverse ways in which subjects can be in cognitive contact with facts. Two cases are laid out: (i) a case of acquiring perceptual knowledge by exercising an ability to recognize things to be of a certain kind from the way they look; (ii) a case of acquiring knowledge from a perceived indicator (sign). It is claimed that the latter is a hybrid of perceptual and evidence-based knowledge. It is evidence-based because the knowledge is based on evidence provided by the indicator. It is perceptual because perceptual recognition is in play both in recognizing the indictor to be of a certain sort and in recognizing its indicative significance. Aspects of the metaphysics of recognitional abilities are outlined. It is argued that how a subject’s knowledge is acquired can be relevant to explaining why the knowledge counts as knowledge. The relation between knowledge and justified belief is addressed within a knowledge-first perspective.

Virtue Theoretic Epistemology
New Methods and Approaches
, pp. 181 - 202
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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