David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophical Studies 164 (1):205-217 (2013)
Can one gain testimonial knowledge from unsafe testimony? It might seem not, on the grounds that if a piece of testimony is unsafe, then any belief based on it in such a way as to make the belief genuinely testimonial is bound itself to be unsafe: the lack of safety must transmit from the testimony to the testimonial belief. If in addition we accept that knowledge requires safety, the result seems to be that one cannot gain testimonial knowledge from unsafe testimony. In a pair of recent papers, however, Sanford Goldberg has challenged this apparently plausible line of thought. Goldberg presents two examples intended to show that a testimonial belief can be safe, even if the testimony on which it is based is unsafe: the lack of safety need not transmit from the testimony to the testimonial belief. In this paper, I question whether Goldberg’s examples really do show that one can gain safe testimonial belief from unsafe testimony. The problem, I explain, is that both examples appear (for different reasons) to be open to objection. Nevertheless, I argue that although Goldberg’s examples do not establish his conclusion, the conclusion itself is true: one can gain safe testimonial belief from unsafe testimony. I base my argument on an example which differs in structure from Goldberg’s examples, and I argue that due to this difference, my example avoids the problems which Goldberg’s examples face
|Keywords||Testimony Safety Knowledge|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Robert Nozick (1981). Philosophical Explanations. Harvard University Press.
Duncan Pritchard (2005). Epistemic Luck. Clarendon Press.
Timothy Williamson (2000). Knowledge and its Limits. Oxford University Press.
Jennifer Lackey (2008/2010). Learning From Words: Testimony as a Source of Knowledge. Oxford University Press.
Duncan Pritchard & Patrick Greenough (eds.) (2009). Williamson on Knowledge. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Stephen Wright (2015). In Defence of Transmission. Episteme 12 (1):13-28.
Similar books and articles
Joachim Horvath (2008). Testimony, Transmission, and Safety. Abstracta 4 (1):27-43.
Sanford C. Goldberg (2006). Testimony as Evidence. Philosophica 78.
Tim Kenyon (2013). The Informational Richness of Testimonial Contexts. Philosophical Quarterly 63 (250):58-80.
Paul Faulkner (2011). Knowledge on Trust. OUP Oxford.
P. Faulkner (2002). On the Rationality of Our Response to Testimony. Synthese 131 (3):353 - 370.
Sanford C. Goldberg (2006). The Social Diffusion of Warrant and Rationality. Southern Journal of Philosophy 44 (S1):118-138.
Joshue Orozco (2010). I Can Trust You Now … but Not Later: An Explanation of Testimonial Knowledge in Children. Acta Analytica 25 (2):195-214.
Matthew R. Dasti (2008). Testimony, Belief Transfer, and Causal Irrelevance: Reflections From India's Nyaya School. History of Philosophy Quarterly 25 (4):281-299.
Axel Gelfert (2010). Reconsidering the Role of Inference to the Best Explanation in the Epistemology of Testimony. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 (4):386-396.
Mikkel Gerken (2012). Critical Study of Goldberg's Relying on Others. [REVIEW] Episteme 9 (1):81-88.
Benjamin McMyler (2012). Responsibility for Testimonial Belief. Erkenntnis 76 (3):337-352.
Tomoji Shogenji (2006). A Defense of Reductionism About Testimonial Justification of Beliefs. Noûs 40 (2):331–346.
Deborah Perron Tollefsen (2009). WIKIPEDIA and the Epistemology of Testimony. Episteme 6 (1):8-24.
Added to index2012-01-03
Total downloads72 ( #43,289 of 1,724,879 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #167,173 of 1,724,879 )
How can I increase my downloads?