Varieties of Anti-Reductionism About Testimony—A Reply to Goldberg and Henderson

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 72 (3):618-628 (2006)
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One of the central points of contention in the epistemology of testimony concerns the uniqueness (or not) of the justification of beliefs formed through testimony-whether such justification can be accounted for in terms of, or 'reduced to,' other familiar sort of justification, e.g. without relying on any epistemic principles unique to testimony. One influential argument for the reductionist position, found in the work of Elizabeth Fricker, argues by appeal to the need for the hearer to monitor the testimony for credibility. Fricker (1994) argues, first, that some monitoring for trustworthiness is required if the hearer is to avoid being gullible, and second, that reductionism but not anti-reductionism is compatible with ascribing an important role to the process of monitoring in the course of justifiably accepting observed testimony. In this paper we argue that such an argument fails.



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Elizabeth Fricker
Oxford University

Citations of this work

Learning from words.Jennifer Lackey - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (1):77–101.
Against Credibility.Joseph Shieber - 2012 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (1):1 - 18.

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References found in this work

Testimony: a philosophical study.C. A. J. Coady - 1992 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Against Gullibility.Elizabeth Fricker - 1994 - In A. Chakrabarti & B. K. Matilal (eds.), Knowing from Words. Kluwer Academic Publishers.

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