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The Inquiring OrganizationHow Organizations Acquire Knowledge and Seek Information$
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Chun Wei Choo

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199782031

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199782031.001.0001

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Pragmatist Views of Knowledge

Pragmatist Views of Knowledge

Knowledge as Communal Inquiry

Chapter:
(p.45) 3 Pragmatist Views of Knowledge
Source:
The Inquiring Organization
Author(s):

Chun Wei Choo

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199782031.003.0003

This chapter discusses how pragmatist philosophers approach the problem of knowledge acquisition. Pragmatists hold that knowledge is fallible and that the beliefs we have are subject to doubt. However, not all beliefs are in doubt at the same time, so we always have a base of beliefs to stand on to start our inquiry. Moreover, we do not search for certainty in problematic situations but look for knowledge that would indicate or enable courses of action that would move us forward. Pragmatists hold that knowing is an ongoing process of inquiry that relies on experience and evidence—we want to have our knowledge checked by the force of experience. Pragmatist theories of knowledge resonate with organizations that see themselves as possessing the agency as well as the capacity to anticipate, imagine, and create features in the environment to reach their goals.

Keywords:   fallibility, doubt, process of inquiry, pragmatist philosophy, experience, evidence

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