The word of others

Journal of Applied Logic 1 (1-2):107-118 (2003)
Abstract
Tyler Burge has argued that one has an a priori prima facie entitlement to believe in the truth of what one takes to have been presented as true by an interlocutor. This thesis, however, is problematic, since the alleged a priori prima facie entitlement to believe in the truth of our seeming understanding of things presented as true to us, rests on the possibility of determining assertoric force on a purely intellectual basis. This thesis is not plausible and Burge's analogy from memory does not support it. Two routes for defending Burge's thesis of the a priori prima facie entitlement to believe in the truth of what has been asserted can be identified: the Transcendental Route and the Intrinsic Rationality Route. David Lewis' account of linguistic convention would serve as a transcendental argument for the a priori prima facie entitlement to believe in the truth of what has been asserted, but flaws in Lewis' theory leave us deprived of any good transcendental argument for such an entitlement. The Intrinsic Rationality Route is in better standing, but we have yet to see an argument for why we should resort to that measure
Keywords A priori  Tyler Burge  Testimony  David Lewis  Convention
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