A Critical Analysis of the Educational Impact of Analytic Social Epistemology
Social epistemology is now a thriving field of intellectual inquiry. In this paper, I examine the scope and limits of the kind of social epistemology that accrues from the (post-)analytic context in Anglophone philosophy. A remarkable feature of this sub-discipline relates to education in respect of its subject matter. Ironically, however, this paper reveals that analytic social epistemology has not yet made a salient contribution to advancing discourses relating to education. For there is something unsatisfactory about the three ideas that constitute analytic social epistemology as a sophisticated philosophy of testimony: normative naturalism, externalism in epistemic justification, and reliabilism. This paper therefore points to a basic flaw in each of these three notions and ends with the tentative suggestion that a “sociological” social epistemology may prove a corrective to analytic social epistemology—in such a way as to have a more direct bearing on discourses on social practices like education.
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