Knowing from testimony

Philosophy Compass 1 (5):432–448 (2006)
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Abstract

Testimony is a vital and ubiquitous source of knowledge. Were we to refrain from accepting the testimony of others, our lives would be impoverished in startling and debilitating ways. Despite the vital role that testimony occupies in our epistemic lives, traditional epistemological theories have focused primarily on other sources, such as sense perception, memory, and reason, with relatively little attention devoted specifically to testimony. In recent years, however, the epistemic significance of testimony has been more fully appreciated. I shall here focus on two questions that have received the most attention in recent work in the epistemology of testimony. First, is testimonial knowledge acquired only by being transmitted from speaker to hearer? Second, must a hearer have positive reasons to justifiedly accept a speaker's testimony?

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Jennifer Lackey
Northwestern University

Citations of this work

Testifying understanding.Kenneth Boyd - 2017 - Episteme 14 (1):103-127.
Aesthetic Testimony.Jon Robson - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (1):1-10.
Against Credibility.Joseph Shieber - 2012 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (1):1 - 18.
The reliability problem for reliabilism.Matthew Frise - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (4):923-945.

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References found in this work

The Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford: Oxford University Press. Edited by John Henry McDowell.
Knowledge and its limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Philosophical explanations.Robert Nozick - 1981 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Knowledge and lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2004 - New York: Oxford University Press.
The structure of empirical knowledge.Laurence BonJour - 1985 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

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