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Work Packages

This work package will develop a knowledge-first methodological approach for social epistemology. Knowledge first frameworks - first proposed in Tim Williamson's 'Knowledge and Its Limits' (2000) - take knowledge as central to epistemological affairs and venture to analyse other epistemic standings in terms of knowledge. KnowledgeLab develops a knowledge-first framework for social epistemological issues. It starts the analysis with the epistemic function of our social epistemic interactions - that of generating knowledge - and it identifies the normative structure that is borne out by this function. 

Develops a novel, knowledge-first framework for the epistemology of testimony, together with a novel account of testimonial justification. The key hypothesis is that, because testimonial exchanges have the function of generating knowledge in hearers, hearers are by default justified in trusting a speaker’s claim (absent defeaters).

Develops a novel account of the normativity of belief in the face of disagreement. The hypothesis under investigation is that, in cases of disagreement, one should improve one's corresponding doxastic attitude with regard to closeness to knowledge.

Develops a knowledge-first view of justified group belief. The hypothesis under investigation is that groups are social epistemic agents, and group belief that falls short of knowledge is an instance of failure in epistemic function fulfilment. When, however, it is acquired via a properly functioning epistemic process that has the function of generating knowledge, the belief in question is justified even if not knowledgeable.

Develops the first integrated account of the epistemology of the mass media in the literature. It has two research aims: A1. Developing a knowledge-first epistemology of media consumption. On this account, the epistemic responsibilities of the audience mainly consist in spotting defeaters,  and withholding belief until this reason to distrust has been cleared. A2. Developing a knowledge-first epistemology of media testimony, according to which reliability and fairness in presenting opposing views should be weighed against each other with a view to generating knowledge.

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