Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Impersonal knowledge : a criticism of subjectivism in epistemology.
Author: Musgrave, Alan E.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3437 2927
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 1968
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Two approaches in epistemology are contrasted. The first, more usual, approach treats human knowledge as a system of subjective or psychological entities. Many of the distinctive problems of philosophy ar. shown to stem from this initially plausible approach to knowledge. According to the traditional conception of knowledge, it is a special sort of belief, proven or justified belief. This first approach to knowledge leads to subjective theories of truth and of logic, which ar. here criticized. It is argued that the truth or falsehood of a. piece of knowledge, end its logical relations with other pieces of knowledge, are objective, that is, they are independent of any psychological facts about any knower or believer of that piece of knowledge. Because of the objectivity of truth and of logic, it becomes possible to approach knowledge in a non-subjective way, and to treat it as a system of objective or non-psychological entities. Within this approach, knowledge is regarded a. consisting of objective contents, which ar. distinguished from psychological acts, such as believing or knowing, which are directed towards these contents. Several properties and relationships of objective knowledge are contrasted with psychological properties and relationships of subjective knowledge. Doctrines which rest upon the confusion of these two distinct realms are criticized. The traditional idea of knowledge as justified belief is shown to rest upon a conflation of problems concerning subjective aspects of knowing and problems concerning objective aspects of what is known. Finally, recognition of the objective aspect. of our knowledge is essential to the practice of mutual criticism in sciences it is argued that the objectivity of science consists in this critical debate about objective aspects of scientific knowledge, rather than in any special psychological objectivity or impartiality or detachment on the part of individual scientists.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available