Knowledge in a Social World

Front Cover
Clarendon Press, 1999 - 407 pages
This text offers a philosophy for the information age. Alvin Goldman explores frontiers by creating a thoroughgoing social epistemology, moving beyond the traditional focus on solitary knowers. Social, cultural and technological changes present challenges to our ways of knowing and understanding, and philosophy must face these challenges. Against the tides of postmodernism and social constructionism, Goldman defends the integrity of truth and shows how to promote it by well-designed forms of social interaction. He urges that social discourse promises more than the mere politics of consensus, and that suitably norm-governed debate and belief-revision can increase veridical knowledge. Goldman's aims are not just philosophical but practical. From science to education, from law to democracy, he shows why and how public institutions should seek knowledge-enhancing practices. He examines how cyberspace and other technologies expand the scope of communication, and warns of the need to safeguard content quality. He scrutinizes the free marketplace of ideas, the adversary system in the law, and media coverage of political campaigns.

About the author (1999)

Alvin I. Goldman is one of the world's foremost epistemologists; he is Regents Professor of Philosophy at the University of Arizona, and a Past President of the Pacific Division of the American Philosophical Association.

Bibliographic information