Why knowledge is the property of a community and possibly none of its members

Philosophical Quarterly 65 (260):417-441 (2015)
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Abstract
Mainstream analytic epistemology regards knowledge as the property of individuals, rather ‎than groups. Drawing on insights from the reality of knowledge production and dissemination ‎in the sciences, I argue, from within the analytic framework, that this view is wrong. I defend ‎the thesis of ‘knowledge-level justification communalism’, which states that at least some ‎knowledge, typically knowledge obtained from expert testimony, is the property of a ‎community and possibly none of its individual members, in that only the community or some ‎members of it collectively possesses knowledge-level justification for its individual members’ ‎beliefs. I address several objections that individuals, qua individuals, have or are able to ‎acquire knowledge-level justification for all the beliefs they obtain from expert testimony. I ‎argue that the problem I identify with individualism is invariant under any specific account of ‎justification, internalist or externalist. ‎
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First archival date: 2015-01-22
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