Sanford C. Goldberg argues that a proper account of the communication of knowledge through speech has anti-individualistic implications for both epistemology and the philosophy of mind and language. In Part I he offers a novel argument for anti-individualism about mind and language, the view that the contents of one's thoughts and the meanings of one's words depend for their individuation on one's social and natural environment. In Part II he discusses the epistemic dimension of knowledge communication, arguing that the epistemic characteristics of communication-based beliefs depend on features of the cognitive and linguistic acts of the subject's social peers. In acknowledging an ineliminable social dimension to mind, language, and the epistemic categories of knowledge, justification, and rationality, his book develops fundamental links between externalism in the philosophy of mind and language, on the one hand, and externalism is epistemology, on the other.
• Gives an account of communication in both its linguistic and its epistemic dimensions • Develops a radical form of epistemic externalism • Provides a unified argument for the 'social' dimensions of mind, language and knowledge
Preface; Introduction; Part I. Semantic Anti-Individualism: 1. The nature of knowledge communication; 2. Public linguistic norms: the case from successful communication; 3. Public linguistic norms: the case from misunderstanding; 4. From public linguistic norms to anti-individualism regarding language of thought; Part II. Epistemic Anti-Individualism: 5. The epistemic dimension of knowledge communication: towards an anti-individualistic approach; 6. The objection from gullibility; 7. The objection from rationality; 8. Towards an 'active' epistemic anti-individualism; References; Index.
'Goldberg's book is an important contribution to philosophy of language and mind, as well as epistemology. For anyone who is, or aspires to be, a serious participant in the epistemology of testimony it is a 'must study'.' Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews