Volume 96, Issue 1, January 2019
Scholarship and Stewardship
The Transmission of Understanding
There is a substantial literature in epistemology concerning whether knowledge can be transmitted. So-called generative cases of testimony seem to show that testimony cannot transmit knowledge. This article defends the thesis that knowledge transmission by testimony is possible. Once one thinks more carefully about the model of transmission we are employing, however, the stage is set for two surprising results. Supposed counter-examples to knowledge transmission feature transmission in the relevant sense, and, more surprisingly, it is possible to transmit understanding, even when we are construing understanding as an internalist good.