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Conclusion

Taken together, my sketchy concluding observations convey the thrust of the proposed definition of knowledge. The intention is to achieve not only conceptual clarity but a renewed empirical view and the chance to explore hitherto unseen connections. This aim can even entail risking the stability of the definition itself or restricting its historical extension. I have highlighted an obvious, but usually omitted, basic function of knowledge in order to escape both restricted and unspecific uses of the concept. The risk stems from the fact that this very function-keeping information available for future use-is finding ever more near equivalents in the processing of information and the storing of data. In the course of the argument, however, it turned out that this hazard is not the only problem that keeps even social philosophers from leaving traditional epistemology. As soon as the spatial dispersion of knowledge looms, scholars still seem to shrink from addressing gaps in socioepistemic control and from recognizing power struggles that the mind cannot master.

 
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