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The Relevance of Discriminatory Knowledge of Content

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Abstract:

Those interested in securing the compatibility of anti-individualism and introspective knowledge of content (henceforth ‘compatibilists’) typically make a distinction between knowledge of content proper (KC) and discriminatory knowledge of content (DKC). Following Falvey and Owens (1994), most compatibilists allow that anti-individualism is not compatible with introspective DKC, but maintain that nonetheless anti-individualism is compatible with introspective KC. Though I have raised doubts about the compatibility of anti-individualism and introspective KC elsewhere (Goldberg, 1997 and forthcoming), here my aim is to suggest the philosophical relevance of DKC itself. My thesis is that there are cases in which a thinker’s failing to have DKC will affect the justification which she takes herself to have in drawing various inferences in the course of her reasoning, and so will affect that reasoning itself. After presenting illustrative examples and suggesting why anti-individualists themselves ought to acknowledge this point, I suggest that the examples indicate further work for anti-individualists: formulating what it takes to have DKC, and substantiating the view (widely held by anti-individualists) that anti-individualism’s implication that we (often) lack such knowledge is not to be taken as an important weakness of anti-individualism itself.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-0114.00077

Affiliations: Department of Philosophy, Grinnell College and the University of Kentucky

Publication date: June 1, 1999

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