Hume is usually taken to have an evidentialist account of testimonial belief: one is justified in believing what someone says if one has empirical evidence that they have been reliable in the past. This account is impartialist: such evidence is required no matter who the person is, or what relations she may have to you. I, however, argue that Hume has another account of testimony, one grounded in sympathy. This account is partialist, in that empirical evidence is not required in (...) order for one to be justified in believing some of the assertions of one's friends. (shrink)
In certain situations, lies can be used to pass on knowledge. The kinds of cases I focus on are those involving a speaker's devious manipulation of the hearer's irrational or prejudiced thought. These cases show that sometimes a speaker's knowledge of a hearer's mind is necessary for the testimonial transmission of knowledge. They also support a 'seeding' model of knowledge transmission, rather than one that is akin to the postal delivery of complete parcels of information.
An Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge guides the reader through the key issues and debates in contemporary epistemology. Lucid, comprehensive and accessible, it is an ideal textbook for students who are new to the subject and for university undergraduates. The book is divided into five parts. Part I discusses the concept of knowledge and distinguishes between different types of knowledge. Part II surveys the sources of knowledge, considering both a priori and a posteriori knowledge. Parts III and IV provide (...) an in-depth discussion of justification and scepticism. The final part of the book examines our alleged knowledge of the past, other minds, morality and God. O'Brien uses engaging examples throughout the book, taking many from literature and the cinema. He explains complex issues, such as those concerning the private language argument, non-conceptual content, and the new riddle of induction, in a clear and accessible way. This textbook is an invaluable guide to contemporary epistemology. (shrink)
Testimonial knowledge sometimes depends on internalist epistemic conditions, those that thinkers are able to reflect upon. In the testimony literature the only internalist conditions that are considered are those concerning a hearer's knowledge of a speaker's reliability. I argue, however, that the relevant sense of internal"" should not be seen as referring to just the hearer's point of view, but rather to the points of view of both the hearer and the speaker. There are certain cases of testimonial knowledge transmission (...) that depend on the speaker's knowledge of his audience. These include cases of ""engineered knowledge"" in which a speaker deviously manipulates a hearer's beliefs. Such knowledge is therefore internalist because it depends on factors that are internal to the point of view of the speaker, and not merely on externalist factors such as the reliability of the speakers' and hearers' beliefs.". (shrink)