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The Transmission of Knowledge
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  • John Greco, Georgetown University, Washington DC
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Book description

How do we transmit or distribute knowledge, as distinct from generating or producing it? In this book John Greco examines the interpersonal relations and social structures which enable and inhibit the sharing of knowledge within and across epistemic communities. Drawing on resources from moral theory, the philosophy of language, action theory and the cognitive sciences, he considers the role of interpersonal trust in transmitting knowledge, and argues that sharing knowledge involves a kind of shared agency similar to giving a gift or passing a ball. He also explains why transmitting knowledge is easy in some social contexts, such as those involving friendship or caregiving, but impossible in contexts characterized by suspicion and competition rather than by trust and cooperation. His book explores phenomena that have been undertheorized by traditional epistemology, and throws new light on existing problems in social epistemology and the epistemology of testimony.

Reviews

‘In this book John Greco significantly advances our understanding of the nature of testimony and of testimonial knowledge. His line of argument develops the idea that testimony is a social act that takes place in norm-governed social settings. The account that results will need to be taken up by anyone interested in the epistemology of testimony and in social epistemology more generally.'

Sandy Goldberg - Northwestern University, Illinois

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