Knowledge ascriptions, such as 'Sam knows that Obama is president of the United States', play a central role in our cognitive and social lives. For example, they are closely related to epistemic assessments of action. As a result, knowledge ascriptions are a central topic of research in both philosophy and science. In this collection of new essays on knowledge ascriptions, world class philosophers offer novel approaches to this long standing topic. The contributions exemplify three recent approaches to knowledge ascriptions. First, a linguistic turn according to which linguistic phenomena and theory are an important resource for providing an adequate account of knowledge ascriptions. Second, a cognitive turn according to which empirical theories from, for example, cognitive psychology as well as experimental philosophy should be invoked in theorizing about knowledge ascriptions. Third, a social turn according to which the social functions of knowledge ascriptions to both individuals and groups are central to understanding knowledge ascriptions.
In addition, since knowledge ascriptions have figured very prominently in discussions concerning philosophical methodology, many of the contributions address or exemplify various methodological approaches. The editors, Jessica Brown and Mikkel Gerken, provide a substantive introduction that gives an overview of the various approaches to this complex debate, their interconnections, and the wide-ranging methodological issues that they raise.
Jessica Brown studied at Oxford before taking up positions in Bristol and then St Andrews. She is now Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Arche Philosophical Research Centre in St Andrews. She works mainly in epistemology, as well as the methodology of philosophy. Current interests include the nature and value of knowledge, the debate between contextualists and invariantists, and epistemic norms governing assertion and practical reasoning. ; Mikkel Gerken acquired his PhD at UCLA in 2007 before returning to his native Denmark. He is currently a post doc at the University of Copenhagen. He works primarily in the intersection of epistemology and philosophy of mind but has broad interests that overlap with philosophy of language, (philosophy of) cognitive psychology, select topics in philosophy of science and metaphysics as well as the methodology of philosophy.
Acknowledgements ; List of contributors ; 1. Introduction: Knowledge Ascriptions: Their Semantics, Cognitive Bases, and Social Functions ; 2. Words, Concepts and Epistemology ; 3. Shifty Epistemology ; 4. Knowledge, Bets and Interests ; 5. Presuppositional Epistemic Contextualism and the Problem of Known Presuppositions ; 6. Abilities and Know-How Attributions ; 7. On the Cognitive Bases of Knowledge Ascriptions ; 8. Mindreading in Gettier Cases and Skeptical Pressure Cases ; 9. Knowledge, Experiments and Practical Interests ; 10. Social Functions of Knowledge ; 11. Group Knowledge Attributions ; 12. Epistemic Scorekeeping ; Index