Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Introduction: The History of Social Epistemology

  • Frederick F. Schmitt and Oliver R. Scholz
Extract

Social epistemology is a burgeoning branch of contemporary epistemology. Since the 1970s, philosophers have taken an ever-increasing interest in such topics as the epistemic value of testimony, the nature and function of expertise, the proper distribution of cognitive labor and resources among individuals in communities, and the status of group reasoning and knowledge. This trend emerged against the resistance of the widely shared view that social considerations are largely irrelevant to epistemological concerns. The trend was stimulated by diverse approaches to the study of knowledge, in such fields as library science, educational theory, the sociology of science, and economics, and within philosophy itself, in the decades preceding the 1980s. To name only a few influences within philosophy, W. V. Quine promoted a naturalistic approach to knowledge, and many who accepted the relevance of nature to epistemology found it sensible to accept the relevance of social factors as well. Thomas S. Kuhn suggested that social factors precipitate revolutionary conceptual and doctrinal changes in the history of science. And feminist epistemologists uncovered the importance of gender differences in knowledge – a species of social factor.

    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Introduction: The History of Social Epistemology
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Introduction: The History of Social Epistemology
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Introduction: The History of Social Epistemology
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
References
Hide All
Coady, C. A. J. 1992. Testimony: A Philosophical Study. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Egan, M. E. and J, Shera. 1952. “Foundations of a Theory of Bibliography.” The Library Quarterly 22: 125–37.
Kennedy, R. 2004. A History of Reasonableness: Testimony and Authority in the Art of Thinking. Rochester: University of Rochester Press.
Schmitt, F. F. (ed.) 1994. Socializing Epistemology. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.
Scholz, O. R. 2004. “Zeuge, Zeugnis I.” In Ritter, J., Gründer, K. & Gabriel, G. (eds.), Historisches Wörterbuch der Philosophie, Vol. 12: 1317–24. Basel: Schwabe.
Scholz, O. R. 2009a. “Von Rom, den Antipoden und von Wundern – Zur Behandlung des Zeugnisses anderer In Logiken der Frühen Neuzeit.” In Spoerhase, C. et al. (eds.), Unsicheres Wissen. Skeptizismus und Wahrscheinlichkeit 1550–1850, pp. 245–67. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.
Scholz, O. R. 2009b. “Zeugnis.” In Ueding, G. (ed.), Historisches Wörterbuch der Rhetorik, Vol. 9, Su-Z: 1511–21. Tübingen: Niemeyer.
Shera, J. 1970. Sociological Foundations of Librarianship. New York: Asia Publishing House.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Episteme
  • ISSN: 1742-3600
  • EISSN: 1750-0117
  • URL: /core/journals/episteme
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed