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Epistemology & Philosophy of Science

Volume 50, Issue 4, 2016

Ilya Kasavin
Pages 63-73
DOI: 10.5840/eps201650469

The critique of group belief
a discussion with Jennifer Lackey

The approach proposed by Jennifer Lackey is an analytical version of social epistemology, in which the subject of the research is the nature of collective (group) beliefs. She analyzes the possibility of explaining cognitive collectivity and reducing collective knowledge to the individual one at the example of deviant knowledge types - lie and bullshit. In the given paper, the author argues that Lackey's point of view deserves criticism for neither “group" nor “belief" receive a clear definition; no criteria are proposed to distinguish cognitively relevant and irrelevant social factors; the opposition of the individual and the group is retained. The author argues that the concept of collective knowledge could be much more consistent if one uses the group-grid approach elaborated by M. Douglas; one shows the social nature of the individual; one applies the entire toolkit of philosophy of language and discourse analysis for reduction of beliefs to linguistic expressions. Still the concept under criticism moves then closer to the criticalsocial epistemology, which is hardly acceptable for Lackey. What follows is

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