David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Noûs 40 (2):331–346 (2006)
This paper defends reductionism about testimonial justification of beliefs against two influential arguments. One is the empirical argument to the effect that the reductionist justification of our trust in testimony is either circular since it relies on testimonial evidence or else there is scarce evidence in support of our trust in testimony. The other is the transcendental argument to the effect that trust in testimony is a prerequisite for the very existence of testimonial evidence since without the presumption of people’s truthfulness we cannot interpret their utterances as testimony with propositional contents. This paper contends that the epistemic subject can interpret utterances as testimony with propositional contents without presupposing the credibility of testimony, and that evidence available to the normal epistemic subject can justify her trust in testimony
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