Presenter: Associate Professor Rod Girle

Why do we need the distinction between knowledge and belief? After all, we can assert things, agree or disagree with what others say, indicate our degree of agreement or disagreement, say whether we think something is correct or incorrect, use anyone of a myriad 'modal' operators such as "certain", "definite" "probable", "possible" and "necessary". So, why do we need the distinction? This paper will look at giving an answer by considering the contrast between Technical and Social Intelligence and drawing an analogy for knowledge and belief. The analogy points up the contrast between the terms "know" and "believe" as having their place in the strategies for the manipulation of social life and for the assertion of authority, for face and mana. Austin began to grasp this with his social performance epistemology. This paper explores this social dimension further than Austin would have been comfortable with.


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