Discourse and Knowledge: A Sociocognitive Approach by Teun A. van Dijk

By Teun A. van Dijk

So much of our wisdom is got by means of discourse, and our skill to supply and comprehend discourse is most unlikely with out the activation of huge quantities of data of the area. either 'discourse' and 'knowledge' are primary ideas of the arts and social sciences, yet they can be handled individually. in keeping with a idea of typical wisdom, the booklet bargains with the cognitive procedures, social distribution, cultural ameliorations and the linguistic and discursive 'management' of information in interplay and verbal exchange in epistemic groups. the 1st publication to undertake a multidisciplinary method of learning the connection among the 2 techniques, Discourse and data introduces the hot box of epistemic discourse research. utilizing quite a lot of examples to demonstrate the idea, it really is crucial examining for either scholars and teachers drawn to epistemology, linguistics, discourse research, cognitive and social psychology and the social sciences.

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We distinguish between beliefs as mental representations (however described) and the ways these may be expressed in text or talk (or other semiotic systems), a distinction that seems sometimes blurred in traditional discussions of beliefs as represented in example sentences. • Unlike hopes and wishes, beliefs that are taken by the speaker to be correct, and hence represent personal knowledge, tend not to be explicitly indexed by prefatory clauses such as I believe that – which are generally reserved for the expression of personal opinions.

However, in most everyday uses of the terms, the concepts of ‘belief’ and ‘believing’ are used to refer to subjective or tentative thought or talk about the world, that is, when we are insecure about what is the case, when our beliefs may not be shared by others or when we give an opinion. In that sense, natural knowledge is stronger than (mere) belief, namely belief of which one is sure, according to the K-criteria of the relevant epistemic community. , Williams, 2000). Rather than dealing with the detailed cognitive structures and functions of actual beliefs of real people, most studies in classical epistemology deal with normative questions of justiication and truth, that is, with the nature of the relations between beliefs and the world, and by what criteria we are warranted to describe beliefs as knowledge (Goldman, 1986, 1993).

Although the use of propositions to represent knowledge has the advantage of a large history in philosophy and logic (Nuchelmans, 1973), and more easily allows for more formal accounts, it also has several disadvantages (Goldman, 1986: 15–16; Ryle, 1971: Ch. 2). The irst problem with the use of propositions is their traditional deinition as entities that can be true or false, thus confounding propositions as mental representations with their expression in sentences when uttered as assertions in speciic contexts, that is, with statements (Austin, 1950).

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