Seminar Series in Analytic Philosophy 2020-21, Session 2

Knowledge-first account of group knowledge
Domingos Faria (LanCog, University of Lisbon)

9 October 2020, 16:00 | The talk will be given in a mixed presence regime

Abstract: In this talk, we want to relate two trending topics in contemporary epistemology: the discussion of group knowledge and the discussion of knowledge-first approach. In social epistemology of group knowledge no one has yet seriously applied and developed Williamson (2000)’s theory of knowledge-first approach. For example, explanations for group knowledge, as presented by Tuomela (2004), Corlett (2007), Gilbert (2014), and Lackey (2020), assume that knowledge is analyzed in terms of more basic concepts, such as group belief, group justification, and so on. However, if Williamson (2000)’s theory is correct, these are not good explanations for understanding group knowledge. Thus, we want to analyze what consequences Williamson (2000)’s theory has for social epistemology, namely for an understanding of group knowledge. We argue that a consequence of knowledge-first approach for understanding group knowledge is to account for factive mental states at collective level (in ways that are not reducible at individual level). So it is necessary to provide and develop a plausible understanding of collective minds and collective mental states in a non-reductionist way.