112,574 research outputs found

    Knowledge, development and technology: internet use among voluntary-sector AIDS organisations in KwaZulu-Natal

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    Knowledge is frequently invoked as an explanatory factor in the relationship between technology and development, yet seldom with reference to an explicit conception of knowledge and almost never with reference to contemporary epistemology. The result is a multiplicity of different and in some cases contradictory 'knowledge-based' approaches. At the same time, epistemology is undergoing significant developments that suggest promising directions of enquiry and collaboration with the social and natural sciences. Of particular interest are naturalistic and externalist perspectives in analytic epistemology, where an emerging programme can be discerned aimed at bridging the gap between philosophical and empirical study of the way in which we come to know the world. This project can be seen as part of such a programme, applying naturalistic epistemology to the field of development and technology as the basis of a more grounded and general theory with a range of empirical applications. It begins with a discussion of the philosophical position, identifying three core dimensions of knowledge, their normative features and the potential of technology to support and extend functioning on each dimension. This theory is shown to have close affinities with the capability approach developed by Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum, leading to the articulation of a generic theory of 'knowledge capability'. The second half of the project applies the general theory to a case study of Internet use among AIDS NGOs in the province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, where HIV prevalence rates of 37.5% have been recorded and where response to the epidemic has been left largely to civil society. The knowledge dimensions of NGO AIDS work are explored and conclusions drawn about the interactions between technology use, existing capabilities and wider environmental factors in determining the degree to which technology can in this case be considered a knowledge tool

    Knowledge: the safe-apt view

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    According to virtue epistemology, knowledge involves cognitive success that is due to cognitive competence. This paper explores the prospects of a virtue theory of knowledge that, so far, has no takers in the literature. It combines features from a couple of different virtue theories: like Pritchard's [forthcoming; et al. 2010] view, it qualifies as what I call an ‚Äėimpure‚Äô version of virtue epistemology, according to which the competence condition is supplemented by an additional (safety) condition; like Sosa's 2007, 2010 view, it construes the ‚Äėbecause‚Äô relation at issue in the competence condition in terms of competence manifestation. I argue that this virtue epistemology can steer clear of a number of old and new problems that arise for its rivals on both sides

    Stigmergic epistemology, stigmergic cognition

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    To know is to cognize, to cognize is to be a culturally bounded, rationality-bounded and environmentally located agent. Knowledge and cognition are thus dual aspects of human sociality. If social epistemology has the formation, acquisition, mediation, transmission and dissemination of knowledge in complex communities of knowers as its subject matter, then its third party character is essentially stigmergic. In its most generic formulation, stigmergy is the phenomenon of indirect communication mediated by modiÔ¨Ācations of the environment. Extending this notion one might conceive of social stigmergy as the extra-cranial analog of an artiÔ¨Ācial neural network providing epistemic structure. This paper recommends a stigmergic framework for social epistemology to account for the supposed tension between individual action, wants and beliefs and the social corpora. We also propose that the so-called "extended mind" thesis oÔ¨Äers the requisite stigmergic cognitive analog to stigmergic knowledge. Stigmergy as a theory of interaction within complex systems theory is illustrated through an example that runs on a particle swarm optimization algorithm

    An Analytic Search for the Elements of Naturalized Epistemology in John Locke

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    Naturalized epistemology is an approach to the theory of knowledge that emphasizes the application of methods, results, and theories from the empirical sciences. It contrasts with approaches that emphasize a priori conceptual analysis or insist on a theory of knowledge that is independent of it. In most cases when reference is made to naturalized epistemology, reference is only made to W. V. Quine, Alvin Goldman and Thomas Kuhn, but this piece argues that John Locke had made enormous contributionto the development of Naturalised Epistemology. The researcher observes that Locke’s break away from traditional epistemology as the Father of British Empiricism and his psychology based theory of knowledge was a foundation to the evolution of naturalised epistemology.Key Words: John Locke, Development, Naturalized, Epistemology, Analytic,Elements

    Intellection and Intuition: On the Epistemology of S.R. Ranganathan

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    The Indian librarian and library theorist S.R. Ranganathan (1892-1970) is generally recognized as a seminal figure in the development of facet analysis and its application to classification theory. In recent years, commentators on the epistemology of knowledge organization have claimed that the methods of facet analysis reflect a fundamentally rationalist approach to classification. Yet, for all the interest in the epistemological bases of Ranganathan‚Äôs classification theory, little attention has been paid to his theory of how human beings acquire knowledge of the world ‚Äď i.e., his epistemology proper ‚Äď or to the question whether this theory reflects a rationalist outlook. This paper examines Ranganathan‚Äôs statements on the origins of knowledge to assess if they are congruent with rationalist epistemology. Ranganathan recognized two different modes of knowledge ‚Äď intellection (i.e., intellectual operations on sense data) and intuition (i.e., direct cognition of things-in-themselves) -- and it is in virtue of the latter that his epistemology can be considered to fall within the ambit of rationalism. Intuition as a source of knowledge plays a role in Ranganathan‚Äôs classification theory, most notably in his model of scientific method underlying classification development, his vision of the organization of classification design, and his conceptualization of seminal mnemonics and a reduced number of fundamental categories as important elements in the design of classification notation. Not only does intuition subtend the rationalism of Ranganathan‚Äôs epistemology but it also serves as a bridge to another often-neglected aspect of his thought, namely his valorization of mysticism. Indeed, Ranganathan‚Äôs theory of knowledge is best characterized as mystical rationalis

    A knowledge-first account of group knowledge

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    The aim of this paper is to relate two trending topics in contemporary epistemology: the discussion of group knowledge and the discussion of knowledge-first approach. In social epistemology no one has seriously applied and developed Williamson's theory of knowledge-first approach to the case of group knowledge yet. For example, scholars of group knowledge typically assume that knowledge is analyzed in terms of more basic concepts, such as group belief or acceptance, group justification, and so on. However, if Williamson's theory of knowledge is correct, these are not good analyzes for understanding group knowledge. For, in such framework, knowledge is not analyzed in terms of belief and justification, and the same should apply to group knowledge. Thus, we propose to analyze which consequences Williamson's theory has for social epistemology, namely for an understanding of group knowledge. The questions that will guide this article are the following: What is a knowledge-first approach to group knowledge? And what does a knowledge-first approach teach us with regard to one of the most pressing issues of social epistemology, namely the dispute between summativists and non-summativists accounts of groups? We claim that a knowledge-first account of group knowledge can be offered and that it favors non-summativism
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