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1414-4247 – Paper edition





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Edward Craig has proposed that epistemology should eschew traditional

conceptual analysis in favor of what he calls “conceptual synthesis.” He

proposes we start not from the finding of necessary and sufficient conditions

that match our intuitions; rather we start from considerations on what the

concept of knowledge does for us. In this paper I will explore one aspect of

Craig’s proposal – the good informant. It is this aspect that is central to

Craig’s epistemic method and perhaps most problematic. I will evaluate this

concept by first articulating three initial worries that some have had about

the concept and then show how each of the initial worries can be quelled by

looking deeper into the features of what Craig’s proposal is. I then assess

Craig’s proposal on its own terms by looking at the concept of a good informant

in light of the criteria for an adequate explication. What I will show is

that while there is much to be sympathetic with in Craig’s proposal, there

are some open questions that need to be solved in order to say that an adequate

explication has been reached.


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