One of these days my book The Epistemology of Reading and Interpretation will appear. I am, of course, pleased with this beautifully covered outcome of a couple of years hard work!
The book grew out of something of a puzzle that had struck me many times over. Among epistemologists there is a long-standing discussion about the so-called ‘sources of knowledge’. Prominent among these sources is perception, through which we are supposed to know that the sun is out (when we see that it is), or hear that someone is knocking on the window (when we hear someone knock). Prominent among them, also, is reason, through which we are supposed to know that 2+1=3 and the principle of Identity. The list of sources of knowledge is longer, however, and it has been argued that proprioperception should be on it, as should memory. Moreover, over the last two decades ‘testimony’ has been recognized as an important source of knowledge. The puzzle that grew on me was why epistemologists have never even so much as considered the possibility that reading might be a source of knowledge. After all, we do seem to know a lot of things through reading. It was this puzzle that got me started on this book project.