Ernest Sosa has recently argued that the knowledge we get from instruments and the knowledge we get from testimony is similar in important ways. Most importantly, the justification that supports it is similar in kind – both instrumental justification and justification from testimony is to be understood in terms of reliability. I argue that Sosa’s theory is problematic. Specifically, I argue that we can take certain attitudes towards people that we cannot coherently take towards instruments. This, I argue, grounds a (...) distinction between the kind of justification that testimony can make available and the kind of justification that instruments can make available. The result is that reliability cannot provide a complete explanation of the justification that testimony makes available. (shrink)
According to some theories of testimonial knowledge, testimony can allow you, as a knowing speaker, to transmit your knowledge to me. A question in the epistemology of testimony concerns whether or not the acquisition of testimonial knowledge depends on the speaker's testimony being sincere. In this paper, I outline two notions of sincerity and argue that, construed in a certain way, transmission theorists should endorse the claim that the acquisition of testimonial knowledge requires sincerity.
The regress of reasons threatens an epistemic agent’s right to claim that any beliefs are justified. In response, Peter Klein’s infinitism argues that an infinite series of supporting reasons of the right type not only is not vicious but can make for epistemic justification. In order to resist the sceptic, infinitism needs to provide reason to think that there is at least one justified belief in the world. Under an infinitist conception this involves showing that at least one belief is (...) supported by an infinite series of supporting reasons. This paper argues that showing this makes problems for the infinitist. The finite minds problem that prevents completion of an infinite series is well documented. This paper examines alternative attempts to provide evidence of infinity that the infinitist might take, whether by using a notion of justification without infinite reasons or by altering the notion of evidence. It concludes that both of these fail and consequently infinitism is unable to offer a solution to Agrippa’s trilemma. (shrink)
What is it to trust someone? What is it for someone to be trustworthy? These are the two main questions that this paper addresses. There are various situations that can be described as ones of trust, but this paper considers the issue of trust between individuals. In it, I suggest that trust is distinct from reliance or cases where someone asks for something on the expectation that it will be done due to the different attitude taken by the trustor. I (...) argue that the trustor takes Holtonâs âparticipant stanceâ and this distinguishes trust from reliance. I argue that trustworthiness is different from reliability and that an account of trustworthiness cannot be successful whilst ignoring the point that aligning trustworthiness with reliability removes the virtue from being trustworthy. On the question of what it is distinguishes trustworthiness from reliability, I argue that the distinction is in the opportunity for the trustee to act against the wishes of the trustor and the trusteeâs consideration of the value of the trust that has been placed in them by the trustor. (shrink)
Stage theorists invoke the idea of counterpart relations to make sense of how objects are able to persist despite their claim that an object is identical with a single instantaneous stage. According to stage theorists, an object persists if and only if it has a later counterpart that bears the appropriate counterpart relation of identity to it. Whilst objects can and do persist, stages cannot and do not. This seems to amount to a refutation of Leibnizâs law. Stage theorists think (...) that the nature of the counterpart relation invoked depends on how it is that the object is referred to. In this paper, I argue that the context sensitivity that they invoke here gives stage theorists a response to the Leibnizâs Law Problem. (shrink)