Knowledge by Agreement: The Programme of Communitarian Epistemology

Paperback | September 30, 2004

byMartin Kusch

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Knowledge by Agreement defends the ideas that knowledge is a social status (like money, or marriage), and that knowledge is primarily the possession of groups rather than individuals. Part I develops a new theory of testimony. It breaks with the traditional view according to which testimony isnot, except accidentally, a generative source of knowledge. One important consequence of the new theory is a rejection of attempts to globally justify trust in the words of others. Part II proposes a communitarian theory of empirical knowledge. Martin Kusch argues that empirical belief can acquirethe status of knowledge only by being shared with others, and that all empirical beliefs presuppose social institutions. As a result all knowledge is essentially political. Part III defends some of the controversial premises and consequences of Parts I and II: the community-dependence ofnormativity, epistemological and semantic relativism, anti-realism, and a social conception of objectivity. Martin Kusch's bold approach to epistemology is a challenge to philosophy and will arouse interest in the wider academic world.

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Knowledge by Agreement defends the ideas that knowledge is a social status (like money, or marriage), and that knowledge is primarily the possession of groups rather than individuals. Part I develops a new theory of testimony. It breaks with the traditional view according to which testimony isnot, except accidentally, a generative sour...

Martin Kusch is a Reader in History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.69 inPublished:September 30, 2004Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199251371

ISBN - 13:9780199251377

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Questions and Positions2. The Limits of Testimony3. Inferentialism - Pro and Contra4. The Global Justification of Testimony5. Testimony in Communitarian Epistemology6. Summary7. Questions about Rationality8. Foundationalism and Coherentism9. Direct Realism and Reliabilism10. Consensualism and Interpretationalism11. Contextualism and Communitarianism12. Summary13. Beyond Epistemology14. Normativity and Community15. Meaning Finitism16. Truth17. Reality18. Objectivity19. Relativism20. SummaryEpilogueReferences, Index