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Careful with knowledge ascriptions!

Mikkel Gerken: On folk epistemology: how we think and talk about knowledge. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017, 352pp, £45 HB
  • Anna DrożdżowiczEmail author
Book Review

Epistemology has a long history of drawing on intuitive judgements induced by philosophical cases, such as Gettier, fake barns, and bank cases. Such intuitive judgements are easily available, given that knowledge is a familiar turf for humans. We commonly think in terms of knowledge and make ascriptions of it in a variety of contexts in a more or less systematic manner. In this way, we seem to exhibit folk epistemology. But why think that our folk epistemology has any bearing on substantial epistemological claims? And what is the appropriate methodological stance that epistemologists should take towards intuitive judgements resulting from folk epistemology? Mikkel Gerken’s On Folk Epistemology: How we think and talk about knowledge is an impressive, systematic contribution to this debate.

The first chapter outlines the two main interrelated aims of the book. Gerken’s first aim is to defend the orthodox view according to which whether a person knows that pis independent of...



I would like to thank Mikkel Gerken, Michael Hannon, Pierre Saint-Germier, Sam Schindler and Barry Smith for helpful discussions on the book and for comments on an earlier version of this review. This work was supported by and developed as part of the Sapere Aude Project Intuitions in Science and Philosophy funded by Danish Council for Independent Research [grant number DFF 4180-00071].


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and IdeasUniversity of OsloOsloNorway
  2. 2.Institute of Philosophy, School of Advanced StudyUniversity of LondonLondonUK
  3. 3.Department of Philosophy, Birkbeck CollegeUniversity of LondonLondonUK

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