O artigo apresenta os argumentos centrais da política deliberativa de Jürgen Habermas (1), e as perspectivas críticas de Axel Honneth (2) e Nancy Fraser (3) de forma a conferir à política habermasiana uma dimensão mais realista, um conteúdo político de vínculo mais concreto com a orientação emancipatória da práxis, e capaz de lidar melhor com a diferença, a diversidade e o conflito.
Axel Honneth draws a distinction between three types of recognition: (1) love, (2) respect and (3) social esteem. In his The Struggle for Recognition, the recognition of cultural particularity is situated in the third sphere. It will here be argued that the logic of recognition of cultural identity also demands a non-evaluative recognition, namely a respect for difference. Difference-respect is formal because it is a recognition of the value of a particular culture not "for society" or "as such", but (...) for the social group involved. Yet, although it is formal, difference-respect cannot be reduced to respect for personal autonomy and its preconditions, as Honneth wrongly suggests in Redistribution or Recognition? It is argued here that difference-respect is oriented towards another dimension of the person, namely social attachments. This kind of respect entails a separate register of formal recognition with a corresponding concept of personal identity and a parallel category of social disrespect. What morally justifies difference-respect from a recognition-theoretic approach is the practical relation-to-self that thus becomes possible, namely self-respect as a sense of belonging. The formal conception of the good life that Honneth articulates should include the insight that this sense of belonging is as much a necessary condition for the good life as is personal autonomy. (shrink)
The topic of recognition has come to occupy a central place in contemporary debates in social and political theory. Rooted in Hegel's work, developed by George Herbert Mead and Charles Taylor, it has been given renewed expression in the recent program for Critical Theory developed by Axel Honneth in his book The Struggle for Recognition. Honneth's research program offers an empirically insightful way of reflecting on emancipatory struggles for greater justice and a powerful theoretical tool for generating a conception (...) of justice and the good that enables the normative evaluation of such struggles. (shrink)
This article presents and discusses Axel Honneth's theory of recognition as a specific constellation, i.e. as a theoretical endeavour spanning over and interrelating positions in the fields of anthropology, social theory, and politics. As essential components in this constellation I discern an anthropology of recognition, a social philosophy of different forms of recognition, a morality of recognition, a theory of democratic ethical life as a social ideal, and a notion of political democracy as an ambitious reflexive form of social (...) cooperation. A tentative attempt is also made to elucidate the motivational history that underlies and animates Honneth's theoretical endeavour and accounts for its specific 'spirit'. (shrink)
In this paper I criticise Axel Honneth's reactualization of reification as a concept in critical theory in his 2005 Tanner Lectures and argue that he ultimately fails on his own terms. His account is based on two premises: (1) reification is to be taken literally rather than metaphorically, and (2) it is not conceived of as a moral injury but as a social pathology. Honneth concludes that reification is “forgetfulness of recognition”, more specifically, of antecedent recognition, an emphatic and (...) engaged relationship with oneself, others and the world, which precedes any more concrete relationship both genetically and categorially. I argue against this conception of reification on two grounds. (1) The two premises of Honneth's account cannot be squared with one another. It is not possible to literally take a person as a thing without this being a recognisable moral injury, and, therefore, I suggest that there are no cases of literal reification. (2) Honneth's account is essentially ahistorical, because it is based on an anthropological model of recognition that tacitly equates reification with autism. In conclusion, I suggest that any successful account of reification must (i) take reification metaphorically and (ii) offer a social-historical account of the origin(s) of reification. (shrink)
The origins of Axel Honneth's theory of recognition lie in his earlier project to correct the conceptual confusions and empirical shortcomings of historical materialism for the purpose of an adequate post-Habermasian critical social theory. Honneth proposed to accomplish this project, most strikingly, by reconnecting critical social theory with one of its repressed philosophical sources, namely anthropological materialism. In its mature shape, however, recognition theory operates on a narrow concept of interaction, which seems to lose sight of the material mediations (...) with which intersubjective relations are imbricated. The paper argues that a circumspect return to this twofold materialist heritage could substantively correct and enrich contemporary critical theory. The paper provides an illustration of this with the paradigmatic example of work. (shrink)
In this paper, I take issue with Axel Honneth's proposal for renewing critical theory in terms of the normative ideal of 'self-realisation'. Honneth's proposal involves a break with critical theory's traditional preoccupation with the meaning and potential of modern reason, and the way he makes that break depletes the critical resources of his alternative to Habermasian critical theory, leaving open the question of what form the renewal of critical theory should take.
The concept of respect plays a central role in several recent attempts to re-actualise the programme of a critical social theory. In Axel Honneth's most prominent version of that concept, respect is closely tied to the sphere of law, and it is limited to the recognition of a Kantian-type moral autonomy of the individual. So interpreted, the concept of respect can only have a very limited application in the field of education, where concern for the particular desires, intentions and (...) beliefs of mostly immature persons is at stake.However, more than forty years ago R. S. Peters did develop an extended concept of respect as a central component in education. This concept focuses exactly on those desires, intentions and beliefs, instead of on the very demanding capability of practical reasoning orientated towards the Kantian Categorical Imperative. My task in this paper is to explore the potential of Peters' concept of respect for the identification and description of educational pathologies and ultimately for the founding of a critical theory of education. (shrink)
This paper analyses the model of interaction at the heart of Axel Honneth's social philosophy. It argues that interaction in his mature ethics of recognition has been reduced to intercourse between human persons and that the role of nature is now missing from it. The ethics of recognition takes into account neither the material dimensions of individual and social action, nor the normative meaning of non-human persons and natural environments. The loss of nature in the mature ethics of recognition (...) is made visible through a comparison with Honneth's initial formulation of his project. As an anthropology of intersubjectivity combining the teaching of the German philosophical anthropologists and G.H. Mead, his first model sought to ground social theory in the natural preconditions of human action. The last part of the article argues that a return to Mead's theory of practical intersubjectivity informed by Merleau-Ponty's germane theory of intercorporeity provides essential conceptual tools to enable the integration of the natural and the material within the theory of recognition. (shrink)
The paper applies insights from Axel Honneth's recent book, The Struggle for Recognition , to the South African situation. Honneth argues that most movements for justice are motivated by individuals' and groups' felt need for recognition. In the larger debate over the relative importance of recognition compared with distribution, a debate framed by Taylor and Fraser, Honneth is presented as the best of both worlds. His tripartite schema of recognition on the levels of love, rights and solidarity, explains (...) how concerns for equality and difference are two separate needs, even though both must be satisfied. Past and ongoing struggles in South Africa can be understood as struggles for recognition. The African Renaissance itself, to be successful, must address economic and recognition issues simultaneously. Key Words: African Renaissance recognition social movements. (shrink)
In 1910–11 Axel Hägerström introduced an emotive theory of ethics asserting moral propositions and valuations in general to be neither true nor false. However, it is less well known that he modified his theory in the following year, now making a distinction between what he called primary and secondary valuations. From 1912 onwards, he restricted his emotive theory to primary valuations only, and applied an error theory to secondary ones. According to Hägerström, secondary valuations state that objects have special (...) value properties, that we believe we become acquainted with in primary valuations. But, in fact, we do not have any such acquaintance. There are no, and cannot be any such, properties in objects. What we take to be a property is a projection of a feeling. Therefore, all secondary valuations are false. In 1917 he developed his theory further and distinguished between different types of secondary valuations with different structures. Yet he argued that they all are false. Hägerström's discussion is interesting because, among other reasons, it is historically a very early version of error theory in ethics. In a way it can also be said to be a precursor to later versions, e.g., John Mackie's (1946 and 1977). There are obvious resemblances between their accounts. Mackie's discussion is, of course, independent of Hägerström's. (shrink)
An individual is in the lowest phase of moral development if he thinks only of his own personal interest and has only his own selfish agenda in his mind as he encounters other humans. This lowest phase corresponds well with sixteenth century British moral egoism which reflects the rise of the new economic order. Adam Smith (1723–1790) wanted to defend this new economic order which is based on economic exchange between egoistic individuals. Nevertheless, he surely did not want to support (...) the moral theory of British egoism. His book The Wealth of Nations suits well into the world view of British moral egoism, but in the book The Theory of Moral Sentiments, he presents a moral theory which is the total opposite of moral egoism. Contemporary German intellectuals saw contradiction in Adam Smith’s moral (social) philosophy which they called as Das Adam - Smith - Problem . Smith himself didn’t think that there is any contradiction in a situation where in economic sphere (civil society) individual act egoistically and in ethical sphere (encounter with the imagined Other) he feels humanity and compassion toward his fellow men. Hegel was a passionate reader of Adam Smith and he acknowledged Das Adam - Smith - Problem . He set the task of his social philosophy to overcome this paradox. He wanted to create a theory of a social totality where economic egoism and feelings of humanity are not in contradiction. In the same time Hegel wanted to create a theory on Bildung process where human spirit develops from moral un-freedom (heteronomy) to moral freedom and maturity (autonomy) taking care both aspect of love and reason. In certain Hegel’s texts notion of recognition plays crucial role. That is why modern Hegelians Ludwig Siep, Axel Honneth and Robert Williams consider the notion of recognition to be elementary in Hegel’s threefold theory of developing human spirit from family via civil society to sittliche state . For Hegel family is a sphere where people love their “concrete other” and where feeling surpasses reason. Civil Society is a sphere of private contracts and economic exchanges where cold egoistic and calculative reason surpasses feelings. In the sphere of State the contradiction between family and Civil Society ( Das Adam - Smith - Problem ) is solved by “rational feeling”. According to Hegel State should protect citizens from alienating effect of egoistic reason of Civil Society and cultivate “family-feelings” to rational feelings which integrate citizen into “sittliche community” through reciprocal process of recognition. In this article I want to consider Hegelians Honneth’s and Williams’s relevance to the theory of moral development. (shrink)
In dialogue with his interlocutor, Axel Honneth summarizes the way his work on recognition has unfolded over the past two decades. While he has retained his principal insights, some important parts of his theory have changed. He comments that if he were to rewrite The Struggle for Recognition today, he would focus more on institutions and the historicization of recognition patterns. He clarifies his stance on some contemporary controversial issues, including the crisis of capitalism, gay marriage, and his quarrel (...) with Peter Sloterdijk. Finally, he sheds some light on topics much discussed within Critical Theory, such as the relation between theory and praxis and the possibility of politicizing recognition, and on lesser-known aspects of his theory, namely, the relationship between his work and literature. (shrink)
Toward the conclusion of his study, Axel Pichler likens Nietzsche’s writings to the actions of a suicide bomber, for whom fulfillment of purpose necessarily entails self-destruction. Such explosive imagery is certainly not alien to Nietzsche, who notoriously claims to be dynamite, tearing a rift between philosophy’s past and future, and when we speak with Richard Rorty of “post-Nietzschean philosophy,” we breathe the fumes of this blast. Descriptions of this rupture have largely focused on Nietzsche’s attacks on the pillars of (...) systematic philosophy, which tremble at his accounts of the arbitrariness of language, the unavoidably perspectival nature of all knowledge, the irreducible contingency of truth, and the .. (shrink)
¿Puede un filósofo, sin más, tomar el lado de las víctimas, cuando se trata de situaciones de justicia e injusticia? ¿Puede carecer de un punto de vista objetivo acerca de lo que es moralmente bueno o malo? Si el filósofo sostiene que lo que las víctimas demandan, en lugar de redistribución, es reconocimiento, ¿debe proveer una convincente teoría de lo que es el reconocimiento y del modo como él juega un papel en las situaciones de justicia e injusticia? Este artículo (...) contrasta las teorías de Iris Marion Young, Nancy Fraser y Axel Honneth, filósofos que establecen un nexo entre justicia y reconocimiento y que coinciden, además, en inscribirse en la tradición teórico-crítica. Ellos difieren en explicar cómo el reconocimiento está implicado en los conflictos y las demandas políticas. El artículo trata de proveer una explicación para estas diferencias a partir de diferencias meta-filosóficas sobre la filosofía política como empresa intelectual. When talking about justice and injustice, can philosophers, simply, take the victims' side? Even when these philosophers belong to the critical theoretical perspective, can they be excused from providing an objective account of what is morally wrong? If, for instance, they hold that victims are demanding recognition, instead of redistribution, don't they need a social theory about how recognition plays its role in the shaping of justice and injustice? This article addresses these questions in regard to Iris Marion Young, Nancy Fraser and Axel Honneth. Although they subscribe to the critical theory's tradition, as well as involve recognition when talking about justice, their paths go in different directions when they have to explain how recognition is involved in social conflicts and political demands. The main purpose is to show that their differences have to do, mainly, with two different understandings of political philosophy as an intellectual enterprise. (shrink)
As teorias feministas de gênero passaram nas ultimas décadas de uma concepção pós-marxistas a partir dos novos estudos de cultura e identidade, baseando-se no movimento de redistribuição, para o de reconhecimento. Este artigo mostra esse processo de mudança de paradigma. Nele não se procura uma análise de gênero ampla o bastante para abrigar todas as variedades das preocupações feministas. Mostra a concepção de justiça de Nancy Fraser que abrange tanto a redistribuição quanto o reconhecimento, pois reparar a injustiça certamente requer (...) uma política de reconhecimento. Traz a ideia de Reconhecimento de Axel Honneth que estabelece os padrões de reconhecimento inter-sugestivo: o amor (que gera autoconfiança – amizade, relações no trabalho), o direito (auto-respeito) e a solidariedade (auto-estima - reconhecimento, interação social). Conclui-se com uma tentativa de conceitos de redistribuição e reconhecimento de Fraser e Honneth para contribuir na correção da má redistribuição ou o não reconhecimento de gênero. (shrink)
Jean-Philippe Deranty, Beyond Communication: A Critical Study of Axel Honneth's Social Philosophy Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 497-500 Authors Jørgen Pedersen, The Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities, Bergen, Norway Journal Critical Horizons: A Journal of Philosophy & Social Theory Online ISSN 1568-5160 Print ISSN 1440-9917 Journal Volume Volume 11 Journal Issue Volume 11, Number 3 / 2010.
In this paper I analyze interpersonal and institutional recognition and discuss the relation of different types of recognition to various principles of social justice (egalitarianism, meritarianism, legitimate favouritism, principles of need and free exchange). Further, I try to characterize contours of good autonomous life, and ask what kind of preconditions it has. I will distinguish between five kinds of preconditions: psychological, material, cultural, intersubjective and institutional. After examining what the role of recognition is among such preconditions, and how they figure (...) in the work of Axel Honneth, Nancy Fraser and Charles Taylor, I suggest a somewhat complex and hopefully rich picture of interpersonal and institutional recognition as a precondition of autonomous good life. (shrink)
Honneth's fundamental claim that the normativity of social orders can be found nowhere but in the very experience of those who suffer injustice leads, I argue, to a radical theory and critique of society, with the potential to provide an innovative theory of social movements and a valid alternative to political liberalism.
In this paper I set out to read Hägerström through his own eyes, adhering to the terminology he uses in his own original work and attempting to make sense of the variance and uniformity alike that one finds in his linguistic usage. The translations we have of Hägerström's works are quite liberal, using the same word in English where the original uses different ones, and, vice versa, using different words in English where the original uses a single one in different (...) contexts. These misleading translations of Hägerström have contributed in some measure to Hägerström's reputation for obscurity. Further, and most importantly, I will take seriously what Hägerström says about his own thought, namely, that it is dependent on that of Kant and independent of the currents of thought contemporary with Hägerström. In Section 1 , I will briefly take up the problem of consciousness that Hägerström proceeds from, and will recall something that Bertrand Russell once said, in 1928, in regard to the revolt staged in the early 20th century in Europe against German idealism. In Sections 2 and 4.1 , I will instead take up Kant for the purpose of clarifying Hägerström's theory of judgment as treated in Section 3 . In Section 4.2 , I will illustrate the difference between the notions of nothing, R-reality, and W-reality in Hägerström. In Sections 5 and 6 , I will examine the analysis that Hägerström offers of the principle of contradiction, and will summarize the three types of judgment he singled out, including the type he called impossible judgment (or, in my own words, pseudojudgment). In Section 7 , I will consider Hägerström views as grounding, in a transcendental way, the presupposition of the primacy of the external spatio-temporal world, a world independent of our representations: I will consider in particular the W-real complexes that are merely represented, as well as the spatio-temporal world as the only W-real complex that is not merely represented. Finally, in Section 8 , I will briefly consider some of those who have commented and translated Hägerström, this to conclude that R-reality and W-reality are coextensive but not synonymous. (shrink)
Over the last decade, Axel Honneth has established himself as one of the leading social and political philosophers in the world today. Rooted in the tradition of critical theory, his writings have been central to the revitalization of critical theory and have become increasingly influential. His theory of recognition has gained worldwide attention and is seen by some as the principal counterpart to Habermass theory of discourse ethics. In this important new volume, Honneth pursues his path-breaking work on recognition (...) by exploring the moral experiences of disrespect that underpin the conduct of social and political critique. What we might conceive of as a striving for social recognition initially appears in a negative form as the experience of humiliation or disrespect. Honneth argues that disrespect constitutes the systematic key to a comprehensive theory of recognition that seeks to clarify the sense in which institutionalized patterns of social recognition generate justified demands on the way subjects treat each other. This new book by one of the leading social and political philosophers of our time will be of particular interest to students and scholars in social and political theory and philosophy. (shrink)
Axel Honneth investigates an ambiguity in Gadamer's philosophical hermeneutics. In Truth and Method, Gadamer lays out key forms of reciprocal recognition. By means of them, he can subject historical transmission to normative appraisal. Gadamer makes the recognitional interaction relative only to an 'I' and 'Thou', omitting reference to an objective 'Third'. Honneth claims that Gadamer posits this restriction based on the influence of Heidegger's Mitwelt concept. Honneth claims, however, that Gadamer's model fails to explain the possibility of a hermeneutic (...) openness to agents who are not in close personal proximity to us. Instead, Honneth argues that the concrete other in I/Thou relations must be supplemented by a standpoint where the concrete and generalized other continually and reciprocally correct one another. Key Words: concrete other Gadamer generalized other Heidegger hermeneutics intersubjectivity recognition. (shrink)
In the early 20th century, Marxist theory was enriched and rejuvenated by adopting the concept of reification, introduced by the Hungarian theorist Georg Lukács to identify and denounce the transformation of historical processes into ahistorical entities, human actions into things that seemed part of an immutable "second nature." For a variety of reasons, both theoretical and practical, the hopes placed in de-reification as a tool of revolutionary emancipation proved vain. In these original and imaginative essays, delivered as the Tanner Lectures (...) at the University of California, Berkeley in 2005, the distinguished third-generation Frankfurt School philosopher Axel Honneth attempts to rescue the concept of reification by recasting it in terms of the philosophy of recognition he has been developing over the past two decades. Three distinguished political and social theorists: Judith Butler, Raymond Geuss, and Jonathan Lear, respond with hard questions about the central anthropological premise of his argument, the assumption that prior to cognition there is a fundamental experience of intersubjective recognition that can provide a normative standard by which current social relations can be judged wanted. Honneth listens carefully to their criticism and provides a powerful defense of his position. (shrink)
What do people learn when they do not know that they are learning? Until recently, all of the work in the area of implicit learning focused on empirical questions and methods. In this book, Axel Cleeremans explores unintentional learning from an information-processing perspective. He introduces a theoretical framework that unifies existing data and models on implicit learning, along with a detailed computational model of human performance in sequence-learning situations.
Pierre Maquet1,2,6, Steven Laureys1,2, Philippe Peigneux1,2,3, Sonia Fuchs1, Christophe Petiau1, Christophe Phillips1,6, Joel Aerts1, Guy Del Fiore1, Christian Degueldre1, Thierry Meulemans3, André Luxen1, Georges Franck1,2, Martial Van Der Linden3, Carlyle Smith4 and Axel Cleeremans5.
Abstract In this essay, I will argue that images can play a substantial role in argumentation: exploiting information from the context, they can contribute directly and substantially to the communication of the propositions that play the roles of premises and conclusion. Furthermore, they can achieve this directly, i.e. without the need of verbalization. I will ground this claim by presenting and analyzing some arguments where images are essential to the argumentation process. Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-14 DOI 10.1007/s10503-011-9259-y Authors (...)Axel Arturo Barceló Aspeitia, Instituto de Investigaciones Filosóficas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Cto. Mario de la Cueva s/n, Cd. Universitaria, Coyoacán, 04500 DF, Mexico Journal Argumentation Online ISSN 1572-8374 Print ISSN 0920-427X. (shrink)
In the early 20th century, Marxist theory was enriched and rejuvenated by adopting the concept of reification, introduced by the Hungarian theorist Georg Lukacs to identify and denounce the transformation of historical processes into ahistorical entities, human actions into things that seemed part of an immutable "second nature." For a variety of reasons, both theoretical and practical, the hopes placed in de-reification as a tool of revolutionary emancipation proved vain. In these original and imaginative essays, delivered as the Tanner Lectures (...) at the University of California, Berkeley in 2005, the distinguished third-generation Frankfurt School philosopher Axel Honneth attempts to rescue the concept of reification by recasting it in terms of the philosophy of recognition he has been developing over the past two decades. Three distinguished political and social theorists: Judith Butler, Raymond Geuss, and Jonathan Lear, respond with hard questions about the central anthropological premise of his argument, the assumption that prior to cognition there is a fundamental experience of intersubjective recognition that can provide a normative standard by which current social relations can be judged wanted. Honneth listens carefully to their criticism and provides a powerful defense of his position. (shrink)
Axel Cleeremans Research Associate of the National Fund for Scientific Research (Belgium) Laboratoire de Psychologie Industrielle et Commerciale Université Libre de Bruxelles CP 122 Avenue F.-D. Roosevelt, 50 1050 Bruxelles..
No livro “As vozes da igualdade” (“Las voces de la igualdad. Bases para una teoría crítica de la justicia”. Ed. Proteus, 2010. 288 páginas – Ainda sem tradução para o português), o Prof. Dr. Gustavo Pereira, da Universidad de la Republica, Uruguai, procura analisar estas questões investigando as principais teorias de justiça contemporâneas que pretendem respondê-las e apresenta sua proposta de um caminho para a fundamentação de uma teoria crítica de justiça renovada, mais abrangente, que ofereça meios mais adequados e (...) eficazes para promover a justiça social e desenvolver as capacidades humanas necessárias para a construção de uma “eticidade democrática”. (shrink)
Time is a fundamental dimension of consciousness. Many studies of the “sense of agency” have investigated whether we attribute actions to ourselves based on a conscious experience of intention occurring prior to action, or based on a reconstruction after the action itself has occurred. Here, we ask the same question about a lower level aspect of action experience, namely awareness of the detailed spatial form of a simple movement. Subjects reached for a target, which unpredictably jumped to the side on (...) some trials. Participants (1) expressed their expectancy of a target shift during the upcoming movement, (2) pointed at the target as quickly and accurately as possible before returning to the start posiment to the target shift if required and (3) reproduced the spatial path of the movement they had just made, as accurately as possible, to give an indication of their awareness of the pointing movement. We analysed the spatial disparity between the initial and the reproduced movements on those with a target shift. A negative disparity value, or undershoot, suggests that motor awareness merely reflects a sluggish record of coordinated motor performance, while a positive value, or overshoot, suggests that participants’ intention to point to the shifting target contributes more to their awareness of action than their actual pointing movement. Undershoot and overshoot thus measure the reconstructive (motoric) and the preconstuctive (intentional) aspects of action awareness, respectively. We found that trials on which subjects strongly expected a target shift showed greater overshoot and less undershoot than trials with lower expectancy. Conscious expectancy therefore strongly influences the experience of the detailed motor parameters of our actions. Further, a delay inserted either between the expectancy judgement and the pointing movement, or between the pointing movement and the reproduction of the movement, had no effect on visuomotor adjustment but strongly influenced action awareness. Delays during either interval boosted undershoots, suggesting increased reliance on a time-limited sensory memory for action. The experience of action is thus strongly influenced by prior thoughts and expectations, but only over a short time period. Thus, awareness of our actions is a dynamic and relatively flexible mixture of what we intend to do, and what our motor system actually does. (shrink)
In the last thirty years of his life Kant was preoccupied with the question of whether or not the "signs of progress" could be elicited from the vale of tears of the historical process. In what follows I am interested in the question of what kind of meaning Kant's historico-philosophical hypothesis of progress can have for us today. In order to provide an answer to this question, I make a distinction between system-conforming and system-bursting, or unorthodox, versions of historical progress. (...) This distinction is made in order to show that only system-bursting versions of progress can prompt us to confer contemporary meaning on Kant's philosophy of history as a learning process that is conflict ridden and without illusions. (shrink)
In his work on the epistemology of testimony, Peter Lipton developed an account of testimonial inference that aimed at descriptive adequacy as well as justificatory sophistication. According to „testimonial inference to the best explanation‟ (TIBE), we accept what a speaker tells us because the truth of her claim figures in the best explanation of the fact that she made it. In the present paper, I argue for a modification of this picture. In particular, I argue that IBE plays a dual (...) role in the management and justification of testimony. On the one hand, the coherence and success of our testimony-based projects provides general abductive support for a default stance of testimonial acceptance; on the other hand, we are justified in rejecting specific testimonial claims whenever the best explanation of the instances of testimony we encounter entails, or makes probable, the falsity or unreliability of the testimony in question. (shrink)
Among contemporary epistemologists of testimony, David Hume is standardly regarded as a "global reductionist", where global reductionism requires the hearer to have sufficient first-hand knowledge of the facts in order to individually ascertain the reliability of the testimony in question. In the present paper, I argue that, by construing Hume's reductionism in too individualistic a fashion, the received view of Hume on testimony is inaccurate at best, and misleading at worst. Hume's overall position is more amenable to testimonial acceptance than (...) has traditionally been thought. In particular, Hume believes that indirect evidence of human nature and of the social world around us, can take the place of first-hand evidence of the track record of individual speakers or specific classes of testimony. In developing this interpretation of Hume's views on testimony, the present paper draws on discussions found in the Treatise, the Enquiry, and in Hume's writings on historical knowledge. (shrink)