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When Is True Belief Knowledge?$
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Richard Foley

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691154725

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691154725.001.0001

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Collective Knowledge

Collective Knowledge

(p.113) Chapter 24 Collective Knowledge
When Is True Belief Knowledge?

Richard Foley

Princeton University Press

This chapter analyzes the relationship between individual and collective knowledge, particularly in terms of the constitution of the groups that can collectively accept and, if all goes well, collectively know something. It focuses on questions surrounding relationship between collective acceptance by a group and the beliefs of the individuals making up the group, however that group is defined. Collective acceptance and individual beliefs, and hence collective knowledge and individual knowledge, are linked but not as straightforwardly as one might initially suppose. The simplest way for a claim to be collectively accepted by a group (community, society, etc.) is for enough individuals within the group to believe the claim, but collective acceptance is not always a matter of sheer numbers.

Keywords:   collective knowledge, individual knowledge, collective acceptance, individual beliefs, intellectual specialization, individual achievements

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