David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Episteme 6 (1):8-24 (2009)
In “Group Testimony” (2007) I argued that the testimony of a group cannot be understood (or at least cannot always be understood) in a summative fashion; as the testimony of some or all of the group members. In some cases, it is the group itself that testifies. I also argued that one could extend standard reductionist accounts of the justification of testimonial belief to the case of testimonial belief formed on the basis of group testimony. In this paper, I explore the issue of group testimony in greater detail by focusing on one putative source of testimony, that of Wikipedia. My aim is to the answer the following questions: Is Wikipedia a source of testimony? And if so, what is the nature of that source? Are we to understand Wikipedia entries as a collection of testimonial statements made by individuals, some subset of individuals, or is Wikipedia itself (the organization or the Wikipedia community) the entity that testifies? If Wikipedia itself is a source of testimony, what resources do we have for assessing the trustworthiness of such an unusual epistemic source? In answering these questions I hope to further elucidate the nature of collective epistemic agency (Tollefsen 2006), of which group testimony is a paradigm example. When a mans Discourse begineth…at some saying of another, of whose ability to know the truth, and of whose honesty in not deceiving, he doubteth not; and then the Discourse is not so much concerning the Thing, as the Person; and the Resolution is called Beleefe, and Faith: Faith in the man. (1651/1991, Ch. 7; p. 48)
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References found in this work BETA
C. A. J. Coady (1992). Testimony: A Philosophical Study. Oxford University Press.
Elizabeth Fricker (1995). Critical Notice: Telling and Trusting: Reductionism and Anti-Reductionism in the Epistemology of Testimony. Mind 104 (414):393-411.
Review author[S.]: Elizabeth Fricker (1995). Critical Notice. Mind 104 (414):393-411.
Justin Hughes (1984). Group Speech Acts. Linguistics and Philosophy 7 (4):379 - 395.
Jennifer Lackey (2006). The Nature of Testimony. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 87 (2):177–197.
Citations of this work BETA
Boaz Miller & Isaac Record (2013). Justified Belief in a Digital Age: On the Epistemic Implications of Secret Internet Technologies. Episteme 10 (02):117 - 134.
Paul B. de Laat (2012). Open Source Production of Encyclopedias: Editorial Policies at the Intersection of Organizational and Epistemological Trust. Social Epistemology 26 (1):71-103.
Judith Simon (2010). The Entanglement of Trust and Knowledge on the Web. Ethics and Information Technology 2010 (12):343-355.
Thomas W. Simpson (2012). Evaluating Google as an Epistemic Tool. Metaphilosophy 43 (4):426-445.
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Joachim Horvath (2008). Testimony, Transmission, and Safety. Abstracta 4 (1):27-43.
Paul Faulkner (2011). Knowledge on Trust. OUP Oxford.
P. D. Magnus (2009). On Trusting WIKIPEDIA. Episteme 6 (1):74-90.
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Jennifer Lackey (2008/2010). Learning From Words: Testimony as a Source of Knowledge. Oxford University Press.
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