Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research Vol. 86, No. 2, March 2013

Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research Vol. 86, No. 2, March 2013

Article excerpt

Experimental Philosophy, Contextualism and SSI, JESSICA BROWN

Does the Brain Lead the Mind? STORRS MCCALL

Toward a Truly Social Epistemology: Babbage, the Division of Mental Labor, and the Possibility of Socially Distributed Warrant, JOSEPH SHIEBER

This paper appeals to Charles Babbage's discussion of the division of mental labor to provide evidence that--at least with respect to the social acquisition, storage, retrieval, and transmission of knowledge--epistemologists have, for a broad range of phenomena of crucial importance to actual knowers in their epistemic practices in everyday life, failed to adequately appreciate the significance of socially distributed cognition. This essay attempts to show that a particular presumption widely held within the contemporary discussion of the epistemology of testimony--a presumption termed the personalist requirement--fails to account for those very practices of knowers which are detailed here. The paper concludes by suggesting that an alternate account of testimonial warrant, one that has heretofore been underappreciated, ought to be given more serious consideration--in particular because it is well suited to account for those actual practices of knowers that the personalist requirement leaves unrecognized. …

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