This paper argues that when insincerity on the part of a testifier blocks knowledge acquisition, this failure is due to a type of unreliability. This motivates a principle according to which it is a necessary condition on testimonial knowledge that the testimony be given on a reliable basis. Such a principle differs from other reliability conditions on testimonial knoweldge by engendering a narrower conception of such knowledge.
This paper inquires into some problems for a thesis about the (constitutive) aim of belief, expressed in normative terms along the lines that we (in some sense) ought to have correct or true beliefs. In particular, the paper aims to disarm the important blind-spot objections to such a view. What these objections seek to establish is that there are pretty simple truths we cannot have beliefs about, and since ought implies can, we ought not to have beliefs about these truths. It follows that there cannot be a correct normative property of the sort indicated that characterizes belief (constitutively). The paper questions this conclusion without questioning the general thesis that ‘ought’ implies ‘can’. It is hoped that the way we disarm the blind-spot objections will exhibit an attractive view on epistemic normativity, as well as a normative property belief might indeed have. It will be the task of another paper to argue that this normative property thus identified characterizes belief essentially.
In this article I attack the scandalous one-sidedness of traditional philosophical epistemology. I make clear its total dependence on one and only one paradigm of knowledge – propositional knowledge. Such knowledge presupposes that we are always capable of fully articulate our knowledge verbally or notationally and support it by empirical or formal reasons. On this basis it becomes quite impossible to say anything sensible about, for instance, professional knowledge, not to speak of aesthetical or moral knowledge. Some of us have been aware of this for quite a while as Michael Polanyi already in 1958 pointed it out in his book Personal Knowledge. His most famous statement is: «We know more than we can tell». And he argues that we possess a great amount of tacit knowledge. Therefore we need appropriate categories for handling the various kinds of knowledge which cannot be articulated as propositional knowledge. And that is Polanyi’s weak spot. Inspired by Wittgenstein’s remark in Philosophical Investigations § 78 concerning knowing and saying (a) how high Mont Blanc is, (b) how the word «game» is used and (c) how a clarinet sounds, I have developed an alternative approach where (a) becomes propositional knowledge, (b) becomes various forms of practical knowledge and (c) becomes various kinds of knowledge by familiarity. (c) is a sort of first person knowledge which we are quite unable to express verbally to someone who is unfamiliar with the instruments of the Western musical tradition. On this basis I sketchily analyse the paradigm of knowledge in traditional philosophical epistemology and point out a series of its shortcomings.
In the second part of my article I take a close look at a rather new contribution to the discussion of tacit knowledge, written by one of the leading figures within the research field called «the sociology of scientific knowledge» – Harry Collins. His book is called Tacit and Explicit Knowledge and was published in 2010. And his primary aim of the book is to «reconstruct the idea of tacit knowledge from first principles so that the concept’s disparate domains have a common conceptual language» (p. 2). I perform a close reading of his development of the common conceptual language and conclude that he does not succeed. He creates a monstrous terminology which just alienates us from the subject instead of making us see the connections between the «disparate domains» of tacit knowledge.
What is transcendental-pragmatics? Why is transcendental-pragmatics important? In this paper, I focus on four main points: (1) I delineate what I see as the strength and relevance of transcendental-pragmatics within the intellectual setting in the post-war period. (2) I indicate how the discussions within transcendental-pragmatics have revealed inherent challenges, (3) at the same time as the intellectual and institutional surroundings have changed unfavorably during the last decades. (4) Finally, I indicate how these inherent challenges and new constellations could and should be met, to the effect that transcendental-pragmatics could reveal its philosophical importance and practical relevance under changed conditions. In so doing, I defend a gradualist and meliorist version of transcendental-pragmatics. In short, I «situate» transcendental-pragmatics, in a meta-philosophical essay, and at the same time, I argue in favor of a revised version.