Testimony from a Popperian perspective

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 38 (4):419-456 (2008)
Currently, testimony is studied extensively in Anglo-American philosophy. However, most of this work is done from a justificationist perspective in which philosophers try to justify our reliance on testimony in some way. I agree with Popper that justificationism is radically mistaken. Thus, I construct an account of how we respond to testimony that in no way attempts to justify our reliance on it. This account is not a straightforward exegesis of Popper, as he never tackled testimony systematically. It makes use, however, of several of Popper's key insights and incorporates them into a viable theory of testimony. Key Words: testimony • anti-justificationism • social epistemology • situational analysis • defeasibility.
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