Epistemic supervenience, anti-individualism, and knowledge-first epistemology

Jesper Kallestrup, Duncan Pritchard

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

This chapter investigates connections between Knowledge-First epistemology and a meta-epistemological thesis defended elsewhere by the authors (and in opposition to robust forms of virtue epistemology) under the description of epistemic anti-individualism. Epistemic anti-individualism is a denial of the epistemic individualist’s claim that warrant—i.e. what converts true belief into knowledge—supervenes on internal physical properties of individuals, perhaps in conjunction with local environmental properties. The chapter has two central aims. First, it argues that ‘epistemic twin earth’ thought experiments which reveal robust virtue epistemology (RVE) are problematically committed to epistemic individualism also show that evidentialist mentalism is likewise committed to individualism. Second, it argues that, even though a knowledge-first approach in epistemology is in principle (unlike RVE and evidentialist mentalism) consistent with epistemic anti-individualism, this approach fails to offer a plausible account of epistemic supervenience. The chapter suggests this point is a reason to pursue epistemic anti-individualism outside the knowledge-first framework.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationKnowledge first
Subtitle of host publicationapproaches in epistemology and mind
EditorsJ. Adam Carter, Emma C. Gordon, Benjamin Jarvis
Place of PublicationOxford, UK
PublisherOxford University Press
Pages200-222
Number of pages23
ISBN (Print)9780198716310
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Epistemic anti-individualism
  • Evidentialist mentalism
  • Knowledge-first epistemology
  • Supervenience
  • Virtue epistemology

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