Description

One of the most important trends in current epistemology is the growing interest in the social dimensions of knowledge and belief. Traditional epistemology is now regarded as overly individualistic. The social challenge forces us either to accept the skeptical consequences of traditional epistemology or to revise radically its conceptions of knowledge, justification, and rationality. There is a related challenge to philosophy of science coming from sociology of science. It suggests that the standard view of the methods of science is overly idealized. How scientific research is actually conducted fits this view very poorly. Once again we have two choices: either to accept the pessimistic picture of the epistemic value of science suggested by some sociologists or to develop an account of scientific knowledge that can accommodate the findings of history and sociology of science. The project aims to take a fresh philosophical look at the foundations and prospects of this new and growing multi-disciplinary field of research. Among the research topics are the following: 1) the relationship between traditional and social epistemology, 2) the conditions of testimonial knowledge, 3) the nature of collective (group) knowledge, 4) knowledge of social reality, 5) the putative conflict between social and rational explanations of scientific activity, 6) the division of cognitive labor, and 7) the prospects of social virtue epistemology.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date01/01/200231/12/2004

Fields of Science

  • 611 Philosophy
  • knowledge, belief, science, social