The standard philosophical project of analysing the concept of knowledge has radical defects in its arbitrary restriction of the subject matter, and its risky theoretical presuppositions. Edward Craig suggests a more illuminating approach, akin to the `state of nature' method found in political theory, which builds up the concept from a hypothesis about the social function of knowledge and the needs it fulfils. Light is thrown on much that philosophers have written about knowledge, about its analysis and the obstacles to its analysis (such as the counter-examples of Edmund Gettier), and on the debate over scepticism. It becomes apparent why many languages not only have such constructions as `knows whether' and `knows that', but also have equivalents of `knows how to' and `know' followed by a direct object. Thus the inquiry is both broadened in scope and made theoretically less fragile.
`In a study full of lively, subtle, clever ideas Edward Craig gives fresh impetus to a debate which until lately had seemed stalled' A.C. Grayling, Times Literary Supplement 'I greatly enjoyed this elegant little book. It is written with a light touch, unfailingly intelligent, fair and lively. It also has something interesting to say. Would that all epistemology could be like this!' Jonathan Dancy, Keele University, The Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 42, No. 168 `far-ranging and strikingly original book ... I regard his approach as extremely promising. Craig has written one of the most inspired works of epistemology in several decades, a compact masterpiece sketching a new way to do epistemology and brimming with illuminating concrete proposals. The book is powerfully, densely argued, and it is exquisitely written. Any future work in epistemology must reckon with this unique book.' MIND 'much of what he has to say about familiar themes of analytic epistemology ... is interesting and frequently offers a new perspective on old problems' Matthias Steup, St. Cloud State University, The Philosophical Review, Vol. 101, No. 4, (October 1992)
Number Of Pages: 182
Published: 3rd January 1991
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.4 x 14.4 x 1.9
Weight (kg): 0.37