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Attributing KnowledgeWhat It Means to Know Something$
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Jody Azzouni

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780197508817

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780197508817.001.0001

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Knowledge and Knowing that p; “Knowledge” and “Knowing that p

Knowledge and Knowing that p; “Knowledge” and “Knowing that p

(p.83) 2 Knowledge and Knowing that p; “Knowledge” and “Knowing that p
Attributing Knowledge

Jody Azzouni

Oxford University Press

The usage-fact differences between uses of “S knows p,” and “knowledge,” a mass noun, are described. “Knowledge” isn’t factive (a lot of a person’s knowledge can be wrong), and it is contextually sensitive in just the way that mass terms usually are. The knowledge someone (a child) has can be a lot whereas the same knowledge of someone else (an adult) is not a lot. A lot of the knowledge that someone has can be wrong and yet still be knowledge. “Knowledge” is thus open to grading in a way that “know” isn’t. Peter can know more than Sam. This is a use of a verb form derived from the noun “knowledge.” But this is not true when Sam knows p. Sam cannot know p better than Peter knows p. If “know” is contextually sensitive, it’s shown that the word isn’t so in a way like any other contextually sensitive verb.

Keywords:   comparative constructions, contextual sensitivity, gradability, know, knowledge, mass terms

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