Non-Traditional Factors in Judgments about Knowledge



One recent trend in contemporary epistemology is to study the way in which the concept of knowledge is actually applied in everyday settings. This approach has inspired an exciting new spirit of collaboration between experimental philosophers and traditional epistemologists, who have begun using the techniques of the social sciences to investigate the factors that influence ordinary judgments about knowledge attribution. This paper provides an overview of some of the results these researchers have uncovered, suggesting that in addition to traditionally considered factors like evidence and justification, a number of important non-truth-conducive factors play significant roles in determining when people ascribe knowledge. The present review focuses on four non-traditional factors: pragmatic load (in relation to contextualism and interest-relative invariantism), moral judgment, performance errors, and demographic variation.