What Role does Knowledge-Talk Play?

I’ve been teaching a grad seminar on recent work on the counterfactual theory of causation. Smacks a lot of the Gettier literature, so to the extent to you think the latter is a degenerating research program…

But for me it’s soooo fun! Anyway, one idea floating around in this body of literature is the idea of trying to figure out what role causation-talk plays, and then design a theory to accommodate or explain this role (on the model of David Lewis’s approach to pain).

It occurs to me that something productive and useful might occur in epistemology if we adopted the same procedure. So the first step would be to identify the role or roles played by knowledge-talk, and I thought it would be interesting to see what roles people who read this blog can identify. I identified two roles here: the Craigian role of tracking reliable sources of information, and the role of expressing closure of inquiry with respect to a certain subject (or question). What other roles does knowledge-talk play?


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