On testimonial knowledge and its functions

Synthese 200 (2):1-21 (2022)
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The problem of explaining how we acquire knowledge via testimony gives rise to a dilemma, according to which any theory must make testimonial knowledge either too hard or too easy, and therefore no adequate account of testimonial knowledge is possible. In recent work, John Greco offers a solution to the dilemma on behalf of anti-reductionism that appeals to Edward Craig’s functionalist epistemology. It is argued that Greco’s solution is flawed, in that his functionalist account provides wrong verdicts of ordinary cases of testimonial knowledge. In contrast, it is shown that both anti-reductionism and reductionism have the resources to solve the dilemma and provide the right verdicts in ordinary cases of testimonial knowledge without appealing to Greco’s functionalism.

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Michel Croce
Università degli Studi di Genova

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References found in this work

Testimony: A Philosophical Study.C. A. J. Coady - 1992 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Content preservation.Tyler Burge - 1993 - Philosophical Review 102 (4):457-488.
Knowledge on Trust.Paul Faulkner - 2011 - New York: Oxford University Press.
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Relying on Others: An Essay in Epistemology.Sanford C. Goldberg - 2010 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.

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