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Author(s): Luiz Henrique de Araújo Dutra

Journal: Principia : an International Journal of Epistemology
ISSN 1414-4247

Volume: 14;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 279;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: Epistemology | cognitivism | behaviorism | environmentalism | beliefs | rules | action

In this paper I analyze the relation between ascribing knowledge to a human agent in two kinds of circumstances, namely acting according to environmental contingences and acting according to a rule. My discussion begins with the distinction I put forward between descriptive and explicative hypotheses. After relating the notions of rule and belief, I try to support the idea that modifications in overt behavior are prior to any ascriptions of knowledge to an agent, connecting this topic with processes of investigation. I discuss also if there can be beliefs which do not bring about modifications of behavior, and I argue that in certain circumstances of our investigation about the behavior of people, in order to give it unity, we are to ascribe beliefs of that kind to people. Given those points, I depict epistemology as the theory of the processes of investigation involved in human action.

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