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Epistemic Normativity and Social Norms

In David Henderson & John Greco (eds.), Epistemic Evaluation: Purposeful Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 247-273 (2015)

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  1. Testimony and the Constitutive Norm of Assertion.Casey Rebecca Johnson - 2015 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 23 (3):356-375.
    I can, given the right conditions, transmit my knowledge to you by telling you some information. If I know the time, and if all goes well, I can bring it about that you know it too. If conditions are right, all I have to do is assert to you what time it is. Paradigmatically, speakers use assertions to transmit what they know to their hearers. Clearly, assertion and testimony are tightly connected. The nature of this connection, however, is not so (...)
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  • The Transmission of Knowledge and Garbage.John Greco - 2020 - Synthese 197 (7):2867-2878.
    Almost everyone will grant that knowledge is often transmitted through testimony. Indeed, to deny this would be to accept a broad-ranging skepticism. Here is a problem: Knowledge seems to be transmitted right along side lots of garbage. That is, besides transmitting genuine knowledge, we manage to transmit lots of beliefs that are irrational, superstitious, self-deceiving, and flat out false. So how is that possible? How is it that the very same channels manage to transmit both knowledge and garbage together? Call (...)
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  • How to Be an Anti-Reductionist.Mona Simion & Christoph Kelp - 2020 - Synthese 197 (7):2849-2866.
    One popular view in recent years takes the source of testimonial entitlement to reside in the intrinsically social character of testimonial exchanges. This paper looks at two extant incarnations of this view, what we dub ‘weak’ and ‘modest’ social anti-reductionism, and questions the rationales behind their central claims. Furthermore, we put forth an alternative, strong social anti-reductionist account, and show how it does better than the competition on both theoretical and empirical grounds.
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  • The Roots of Moral Autonomy.Julia Petra Friedrich - 2019 - Dissertation, Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München
    Human cooperation and group living are based on societies in which individuals not only care about their own interests but share common norms and values – such as morality and prosocial behavior. As early as the 18th century, Immanuel Kant postulated autonomy as the key to human morality. Kant explained that a rational agent with a free will would necessarily make moral – not immoral – decisions. However, the fundamental question of how moral behavior acquires normative weight remains unresolved until (...)
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  • Testimony, Epistemic Egoism, and Epistemic Credit.Jason Kawall - 2020 - European Journal of Philosophy 28 (2):463-477.
    It is generally acknowledged that testifiers can play a central role in the production of knowledge and other valuable epistemic states in others. But does such a role warrant any form of epistemic credit and is an agent more successful qua epistemic agent insofar as she is a successful testifier? I here propose an affirmative answer to both questions. The core of the current paper consists in a sustained defence of this proposal against a series of objections. I further argue (...)
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  • Social Knowledge and Social Norms.Peter J. Graham - 2018 - In The Philosophy of Knowledge: A History. Volume IV: Knowledge in Contemporary Philosophy. London: pp. 111-138.
    Social knowledge, for the most part, is knowledge through testimony. This essay separates knowledge from justification, characterizes testimony as a source of belief, explains why testimony is a source of knowledge, canvasses arguments for anti-reductionism and for reductionism in the reductionism vs. anti-reductionism debate, addresses counterexamples to knowledge transmission, defends a safe basis account of testimonial knowledge, and turns to social norms as a partial explanation for the reliability of testimony.
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  • Norms, Constitutive and Social, and Assertion.Elizabeth Fricker - 2017 - American Philosophical Quarterly 54 (4):397-418.
    I define a social norm as a regularity in behavior whose persistence is causally explained by the existence of sanctioning attitudes of participants toward violations—without these sanctions, individuals have motive to violate the norm. I show how a universal precept "When in circumstances S, do action F" can be sustained by the conditional preference of each to conform, given that others do, of a convention, and also reinforced by the sanctions of a norm. I observe that a precept with moral (...)
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  • Epistemic Norms and the "Epistemic Game" They Regulate: The Basic Structured Epistemic Costs and Benefits.David Henderson & Peter Graham - 2017 - American Philosophical Quarterly 54 (4):367-382.
    This paper is a beginning—an initial attempt to think of the function and character of epistemic norms as a kind of social norm. We draw on social scientific thinking about social norms and the social games to which they respond. Assume that people individually follow epistemic norms for the sake of acquiring a stock of true beliefs. When they live in groups and share information with each other, they will in turn produce a shared store of true beliefs, an epistemic (...)
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  • A Credibility-Backed Norm for Testimony.Matt Weiner - forthcoming - Episteme:1-13.
    I propose that testimony is subject to a norm that is backed by a credibility sanction: whenever the norm is violated, it is appropriate for the testifier to lose some credibility for their future testimony. This is one of a family of sanction-based norms, where violation of the norm makes it appropriate to lose some power; in this case, the power to induce belief through testimony. The applicability of the credibility norm to testimony follows from the epistemology of testimony, in (...)
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  • The Function of Assertion and Social Norms.Peter Graham - 2020 - In Sanford Goldberg (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Assertion. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 727-748.
    A proper function of an entity is a beneficial effect that helps explain the persistence of the entity. Proper functions thereby arise through feedback mechanisms with beneficial effects as inputs and persistence as outputs. We continue to make assertions because they benefit speakers by benefiting speakers. Hearers benefit from true information. Speakers benefit by influencing hearer belief. If hearers do not benefit, they will not form beliefs in response to assertions. Speakers can then only maintain influence by providing true information, (...)
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  • Assertions, Handicaps, and Social Norms.Peter J. Graham - 2020 - Episteme 17 (3):349-363.
    How should we undertand the role of norms – especially epistemic norms – governing assertive speech acts? Mitchell Green has argued that these norms play the role of handicaps in the technical sense from the animal signals literature. As handicaps, they then play a large role in explaining the reliability – and so the stability – of assertive speech acts. But though norms of assertion conceived of as social norms do indeed play this stabilizing role, these norms are best understood (...)
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  • A Taxonomy of Types of Epistemic Dependence: Introduction to the Synthese Special Issue on Epistemic Dependence.Fernando Broncano-Berrocal & Jesús Vega-Encabo - 2020 - Synthese 197 (7):2745-2763.
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  • Assertions, Handicaps, and Social Norms.Peter J. Graham - 2020 - Episteme 8:1-15.
    How should we undertand the role of norms—especially epistemic norms—governing assertive speech acts? Mitchell Green (2009) has argued that these norms play the role of handicaps in the technical sense from the animal signals literature. As handicaps, they then play a large role in explaining the reliability—and so the stability (the continued prevalence)—of assertive speech acts. But though norms of assertion conceived of as social norms do indeed play this stabilizing role, these norms are best understood as deterrents and not (...)
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  • Considering Purposeful Epistemology: On Starting Over. Review of Epistemic Evaluation: Purposeful Epistemology. [REVIEW]Mark D. West - 2016 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 5 (9):19-33.
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  • Asserting as Commitment to Knowing. An Essay on the Normativity of Assertion.Ivan Milić - 2015 - Dissertation, University of Barcelona
    In this thesis, I propose and defend a theory according to which committing oneself to knowing the proposition expressed counts as an assertion of that proposition. A consequence of this view is the knowledge account of assertion, according to which one asserts that p correctly only if one knows that p. In support of this approach, I offer a strategy of identifying an assertion’s “normative consequences”, types of act that normally take place as a result of one’s making an assertion (...)
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  • Testimony, Trust, and Social Norms.Peter J. Graham - 2012 - Abstracta 6 (S6):92-116.
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