This question was considered off topic in "History of science and mathematics". According to a comment by Alexandre Eremenko it belonged to philosophy.stackexchange.com. I don't understand the reason for closing the question, but I nevertheless try my luck here:
The 1965 famous colloquium with Paul Feyerabend, Karl Popper and Thomas Kuhn had the title “Critique and growth of knowledge”. The title is bold as it assumes there is such a thing as knowledge which, presumably, does not itself need discussion.
I nevertheless take the opportunity to discuss that issue from a special point of view. I look at two extreme interpretations: individual and collective knowledge. I realize one may take some more relaxed view in the middle of the two extremes.
An example not only of individual growth of scientific knowledge, but a statement that such a growth must be individual is given in no uncertain terms by Nobel Laureate Percy Brigdman: “This checking and judging and accepting that together constitute understanding are done by me, and can be done for me by no one else. They are as private as my toothache and without them science is dead” (from Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Operationalism).
Regarding general knowledge, I note that the colloquium’s fist contribution by Thomas Kuhn contains an example of an individual chemist, who mixes salt for scientific reasons, but I take it to represent a scenario whereby we might all learn a lesson. He also gives a description of more general knowledge, and he mentions Karl Popper who often criticizes the general discipline of astrology.
It is my personal impression that the colloquium is intended to shed light on primarily on our common or general knowledge of science (while obviously recognizing that important contributions are often made by individuals). Alternatively, the authors may not have seen a big difference between my two interpretations.
I can see that individual knowledge claims are easier to describe objectively, and that collective knowledge would rely on a, perhaps more subjective, view that a certain scientific advancement was incorporated into collective knowledge.
Sometime after Newton’s Principia I believe that there was a similarity between single scientists and the scientific community in their view of the Solar system, owing to the success of the theory. This similarity might also be said to exist before the paradigm of heliocentricity and, at least before Galileo, in that individuals were supposed to follow the Church and therefore the Vatican’s view. Obviously the views of science are very different in the two examples.
In the spirit of general knowledge I would also take this a step further and accept that scientific problems needing a solution may exist at a certain point in time, i.e. that the prerequisites existed (e.g. in terms of experimental data) for the problem's formulation even if the problem itself was given little attention. In an essay I contrast the view on Einstein by the Nobel Committee to the general view of mainly continental physicists, and I claim that the confused view of the Nobel committee up to 1930 and further, was in contrast with the scientific community’s knowledge, i.e. general knowledge.
I mentioned in a post that I “accept retrospective formulations of problem/paradoxes/catastrophes as long as they could have been formulated by the then-existing data (from before 1900)”, which was considered off-topic. Be that as it may (I am not too familiar with the forum - History of science and mathematics that is) I wonder if this forum appreciate the duality of views and how you might react to my the concept of collective or general knowledge, with the uncertainties that inevitably follows such a view?