David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Quarterly 53 (211):256–264 (2003)
I defend the acceptance principle for testimony (APT), that hearers are justified in accepting testimony unless they have positive evidence against its reliability, against Elizabeth Fricker's local reductionist view. Local reductionism, the doctrine that hearers need evidence that a particular piece of testimony is reliable if they are to be justified in believing it, must on pain of scepticism be complemented by a principle that grants default justification to some testimony; I argue that (APT) is the principle required. I consider two alternative weaker principles as complements to local reductionism; one yields counter-intuitive results unless we accept (APT) as well, while the other is too weak to enable local reductionism to avoid scepticism
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