Testimony, Belief Transfer, and Causal Irrelevance: Reflections From India's Nyaya School

History of Philosophy Quarterly 25 (4):281-299 (2008)
Recent studies of Nyäya’s account of testimony have illustrated its anticipation of contemporary testimonial antireductionism, the position that testimony cannot be reduced to a more fundamental means of knowledge like inference or perception. This paper discusses another relevant but less discussed anticipation of current debate, involving the status of speaker belief in testimonial exchange. Is a speaker’s veridical apprehension of the content of his utterance a necessary condition on testimonial exchange? This was a source of much disputation among Indian epistemologists, particularly Naiyäyikas (adherents of the Nyäya, or “Logic” school) and Mimamsakas(adherents of the Mimamsa, or “Exegete” school).
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