Knowledge and the epistemic function of argumentation – Comment on Gascón's "Where are dissent and reasons in epistemic justification?"

In Catarina Dutilh Novaes, Henrike Jansen, Jan Albert Van Laar & Bart Verheij (eds.), Reason to Dissent. Proceedings of the 3rd European Conference on Argumentation. College Publications. pp. 219-224 (2020)
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José Ángel Gascón’s essay "Where are dissent and reasons in epistemic justification?" is an exposition of a version of a social functionalist epistemology. I agree with Gascón's emphasis on reasons and on taking into account dissent as important parts of epistemology. But I think that these concerns do not require a social functionalist epistemology, but that, on the contrary, Gascón's social functionalist epistemology throws the baby out with the bathwater. It does so by excluding also a traditional, at its core individualistic epistemology, which defines central concepts like 'justified', 'knowledge' still in individualistic terms as the result of a mental cognizing process but is open to social extensions, e.g. concerning cooperation in the acquisition of knowledge or the transfer of knowledge via argumentation. Such a socially open epistemology with an individualistic core – or "open individualistic epistemology" for short – is also the basis of the epistemological argumentation theory. In the following I want to explain and defend this open individualistic epistemology together with the epistemological argumentation theory (sect. 2) and explain on this basis some problems of Gascón’s theory (sect. 3).
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