Her good point must have been an accident

Posted: May 27, 2013 by Jender in failure to perceive problem, failure to take women seriously, implicit bias

We are discussing two scenarios in seminar that seem to provide a similar result, and I ask how we can claim that the results are equivalent when there was no justification in one case for a belief about certain contents. Specifically, I said “This seems odd to me. How can we say that A “knows” what P means in the exact same way that B “knows” what P means, if A has no prior knowledge and no justification but B is a native speaker of the language that P is written in?”

A classmate responded with “you didn’t mean to say “know,” but that’s okay” and made a patting gesture with his hand at the side of his desk, slightly below desk height.

The professor entered the discussion: “Actually, I think that she inadvertently made a good point even if she didn’t mean to.”

I was still sitting right there. No one answered my question, and no one explained to me how I was using the word “know” in a way that was different from the way that my classmates were using the word “know” in the same discussion, or why it was appropriate for their claim but not my question.

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