David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh (2003)
Testimony is an indispensable way of gaining knowledge and also a voluntary act for which the teller can be held responsible. This dissertation analyzes these two aspects of testimony, the epistemological and the normative. Indeed, it argues that these two aspects cannot be separated: A satisfactory account of testimony's epistemology must allow for testimony's normative status, while an account of testimony's normative status can be derived from testimony's epistemology. ;Epistemologically, the general reliability of testimony should be treated differently from the reliability of particular pieces of testimony. We are justified in believing that testimony is generally reliable, without needing evidence to that effect. This avoids the problems that would arise from attempting to gather evidence for testimony's general reliability. Particular pieces of testimony, however, can only provide a justification for belief by providing evidence for what is told. This view about particular pieces of testimony faces the problem of how the teller can present her testimony as evidence while accepting responsibility for it, and how the hearer can take testimony as evidence while holding the hearer responsible for it. ;To solve this problem, I give an account, based on inference to the best explanation, of the specific way testimony provides evidence for what is told. To see testimony as evidence for what is told, we must explain it in terms of the reasons people have for choosing to say one thing rather than another. On this account, the evidence that testimony provides depends on the teller's choice to assume responsibility for her testimony, rather than precluding that assumption of responsibility. ;On the other hand, the epistemology of testimony imposes certain norms on the act of telling someone something. The teller is responsible for the truth of her testimony, in that she stakes her future credibility on its truth. Loss of credibility would count as a sanction for violating the responsibility to tell the truth, because a teller ordinarily intends her testimony to be believed. This responsibility to tell the truth is derived from the epistemology of testimony
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Joel Buenting (2005). Re-Thinking the Duplication of Speaker/Hearer Belief in the Epistemology of Testimony. Episteme: Journal of Social Epistemology 2 (2):43-48.
Steven L. Reynolds (2002). Testimony, Knowledge, and Epistemic Goals. Philosophical Studies 110 (2):139 - 161.
Tomoji Shogenji (2006). A Defense of Reductionism About Testimonial Justification of Beliefs. Noûs 40 (2):331–346.
Robert Audi (2013). Testimony as a Social Foundation of Knowledge. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (3):507-531.
Antoni Diller (2008). Testimony From a Popperian Perspective. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 38 (4):419-456.
Jennifer Lackey (2006). The Nature of Testimony. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 87 (2):177–197.
Tony Ward (2006). English Law's Epistemology of Expert Testimony. Journal of Law and Society 33 (4):572-595.
Aaron Meskin (2004). Aesthetic Testimony: What Can We Learn From Others About Beauty and Art? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 69 (1):65–91.
By Matthew Weiner (2003). Accepting Testimony. Philosophical Quarterly 53 (211):256–264.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads71 ( #29,089 of 1,696,258 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #333,741 of 1,696,258 )
How can I increase my downloads?