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date: 21 September 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter investigates the idea of collective epistemic commonality suggested by Charles Taylor's example, and contrasts it with a distributive notion of epistemic commonality. It describes a number of accounts of collective epistemic commonality, and then argues that, contrary to what Taylor suggests, conversation is not constitutive of collective epistemic commonality as such, but rather presupposes basic forms of collective epistemic commonality. Taylor's remarks indicate that understanding the consensus is insufficient as whatever proposition people rationally and openly accept in conversation. It is suggested that joint (epistemic) attitudes are irreducible, relational, and pre-reflective, and that such attitudes are joint, in the respect that the participants are aware of themselves as a ‘we’. Highly inferential beliefs need some form of communication, and are probably really some form of joint commitment.

Keywords: collective epistemic commonality, Charles Taylor, conversation, inferential beliefs, communication, joint commitment

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