David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Synthese 94 (3):429 - 451 (1993)
The basic alternatives seem to be either a Humean reductionist view that any particular assertion needs backing with inductive evidence for its reliability before it can retionally be believed, or a Reidian criterial view that testimony is intrinscially, though defeasibly, credible, in the absence of evidence against its reliability.Some recent arguments from the constraints on interpreting any linguistic performances as assertions with propositional content have some force against the reductionist view. We thus have reason to accept the criterial view, at least as applied to eyewitness reports. But these considerations do not establish that any rational enquirer must have the concept of other minds or testimony. The logical possibility of the lone enquirer, who uses symbols and thereby expresses some knowledge of his world, remains open — but it is a question we have no need to pronounce upon.
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References found in this work BETA
Gareth Evans (1982). Varieties of Reference. Oxford University Press.
Saul A. Kripke (1982). Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language. Harvard University Press.
Ludwig Wittgenstein (1969/1991). On Certainty (Ed. Anscombe and von Wright). Harper Torchbooks.
David Hume (1739/2000). A Treatise of Human Nature. Oxford University Press.
C. A. J. Coady (1992). Testimony: A Philosophical Study. Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Jennifer Lackey (2007). Why We Don't Deserve Credit for Everything We Know. Synthese 158 (3):345--361.
Jennifer Lackey (1999). Testimonial Knowledge and Transmission. Philosophical Quarterly 50 (197):471-490.
Duncan Pritchard (2004). The Epistemology of Testimony. Philosophical Issues 14 (1):326–348.
Jennifer Lackey (2003). A Minimal Expression of Non–Reductionism in the Epistemology of Testimony. Noûs 37 (4):706–723.
Christopher J. Insole (2000). Seeing Off the Local Threat to Irreducible Knowledge by Testimony. Philosophical Quarterly 50 (198):44-56.
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