Knowing Full Well from Testimony?

Episteme 16 (4):369-384 (2019)
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Testimony poses a challenge to systematic epistemology. I cite two kinds of testimony situation where the recipient's belief is not safe, yet intuitively counts as knowledge. Can Sosa's more sophisticated virtue reliabilism, which theorises animal knowledge as apt belief, yield the intuitively correct verdict on these cases? Sosa shows that a belief can be apt, though it is not safe, and so it may seem a quick positive answer is forthcoming. However, I explore complications in applying his AAA framework, regarding what we take as the circumstances in which the subject's attempt is made: the AAA framework does not mandate a particular choice, yet this affects whether the attempt comes out as apt or not. I conclude that Sosa's theory is subject to a familiar charge: it does not give a reductive account of knowledge, since we must deploy independent intuitions about whether knowledge is gained in a case, in order to apply it.



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Elizabeth Fricker
Oxford University

Citations of this work

Network effects in a bounded confidence model.Igor Douven & Rainer Hegselmann - 2022 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 94 (C):56-71.

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References found in this work

How to defeat opposition to Moore.Ernest Sosa - 1999 - Philosophical Perspectives 13:137-49.
The generality problem for reliabilism. E. Conee & R. Feldman - 1998 - Philosophical Studies 89 (1):1-29.
Understanding and knowledge of what is said.Elizabeth Fricker - 2003 - In Alex Barber (ed.), Epistemology of language. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 325--66.
Philosophical Explanations. [REVIEW]Robert Nozick - 1981 - Philosophy 58 (223):118-121.

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