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The Epistemology of Testimony

Oxford University Press (2006)

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  1. A Priori Testimony Revisited.Anna-Sara Malmgren - 2013 - In Albert Casullo & Joshua Thurow (eds.), The A Priori in Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
  • In Praise of the Spiritual Turn: Critical Realism and Trinitarian Christianity.Andrew Wright - 2011 - Journal of Critical Realism 10 (3):331-357.
    In Against the Spiritual Turn: Marxism, Realism and Critical Theory Sean Creaven sets out to reject Christian theism on materialist grounds. This paper critiques Creaven’s argument from a critically realist Trinitarian Christian standpoint. His failure to engage with Christian theologians, philosophers and biblical scholars, on the a priori ground that since Christianity is inherently irrational Christian scholarship must also be inherently irrational, effectively locks his argument in a vicious intellectual circle. His self-imposed alienation from Christian scholarship generates an ideologically driven (...)
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  • Internalism in the Epistemology of Testimony.Stephen Wright - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (1):69-86.
    This paper objects to internalist theories of justification from testimony on the grounds that they can’t accommodate intuitions about a pair of cases. The pair of cases involved is a testimonial version of the cases involved in the New Evil Demon Argument. The role of New Evil Demon cases in motivating contemporary internalist theories of knowledge and justification notwithstanding, it is argued here that testimonial cases make an intuitive case against internalist theories of justification from testimony.
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  • Facing the Incompleteness of Epistemic Trust: Managing Dependence in Scientific Practice.Susann Wagenknecht - 2015 - Social Epistemology 29 (2):160-184.
    Based on an empirical study of a research team in natural science, the author argues that collaborating scientists do not trust each other completely. Due to the inherent incompleteness of trust, epistemic trust among scientists is not sufficient to manage epistemic dependency in research teams. To mitigate the limitations of epistemic trust, scientists resort to specific strategies of indirect assessment such as dialoguing practices and the probing of explanatory responsiveness. Furthermore, they rely upon impersonal trust and deploy practices of hierarchical (...)
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  • A Reverse Interpretation Model of Testimony.Hamid Vahid - 2018 - Acta Analytica 33 (1):85-102.
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  • Knowledge without credit, exhibit 4: Extended cognition. [REVIEW]Krist Vaesen - 2011 - Synthese 181 (3):515-529.
    The Credit Theory of Knowledge (CTK)—as expressed by such figures as John Greco, Wayne Riggs, and Ernest Sosa—holds that knowing that p implies deserving epistemic credit for truly believing that p . Opponents have presented three sorts of counterexamples to CTK: S might know that p without deserving credit in cases of (1) innate knowledge (Lackey, Kvanvig); (2) testimonial knowledge (Lackey); or (3) perceptual knowledge (Pritchard). The arguments of Lackey, Kvanvig and Pritchard, however, are effective only in so far as (...)
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  • Epistemic Justification of Testimonial Beliefs and the Categories of Egophoricity and Evidentiality in Natural Languages: An Insoluble Paradox of Thomas Reid's Anti-Reductionism.Elżbieta Łukasiewicz - 2020 - Studies in Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric 62 (1):137-168.
    The paper is concerned with the epistemological status of testimony and the question of what may confer justification on true testimonial beliefs and enable us to call such beliefs knowledge. In particular, it addresses certain anti-reductionist arguments in the epistemology of testimony and their incompatibility with the grammatical categories of egophoricity and evidentiality present in the architecture of natural languages. First, the tradition of epistemological individualism and its rationale are discussed, as well as certain attempts within this tradition to include (...)
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  • Inquiry and the epistemic.David Thorstad - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (9):2913-2928.
    The zetetic turn in epistemology raises three questions about epistemic and zetetic norms. First, there is the relationship question: what is the relationship between epistemic and zetetic norms? Are some epistemic norms zetetic norms, or are epistemic and zetetic norms distinct? Second, there is the tension question: are traditional epistemic norms in tension with plausible zetetic norms? Third, there is the reaction question: how should theorists react to a tension between epistemic and zetetic norms? Drawing on an analogy to practical (...)
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  • Knowledge, Belief, and Science Education.Waldomiro Silva-Filho, Charbel El-Hani & Tiago Ferreira - 2016 - Science & Education 25 (7 - 8):775-794.
    This article intends to show that the defense of “understanding” as one of the major goals of science education can be grounded on an anti-reductionist perspective on testimony as a source of knowledge. To do so, we critically revisit the discussion between Harvey Siegel and Alvin Goldman about the goals of science education, especially where it involves arguments based on the epistemology of testimony. Subsequently, we come back to a discussion between Charbel N. El-Hani and Eduardo Mortimer, on the one (...)
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  • Internalism and Externalism in Meliorative Epistemology.Tomoji Shogenji - 2012 - Erkenntnis 76 (1):59-72.
    This paper addresses the meta-epistemological dispute over the basis of epistemic evaluation from the standpoint of meliorative epistemology. Meliorative epistemology aims at guiding our epistemic practice to better results, and it comprises two levels of epistemic evaluation. At the social level (meliorative social epistemology) appropriate experts conduct evaluation for the community, so that epistemic evaluation is externalist since each epistemic subject in the community need not have access to the basis of the experts' evaluation. While at the personal level (meliorative (...)
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  • Against Credibility.Joseph Shieber - 2012 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (1):1 - 18.
    How does the monitoring of a testifier's credibility by recipients of testimony bear upon the epistemic licence accruing to a recipient's belief in the testifier's communications? According to an intuitive and philosophically influential conception, licensed acceptance of testimony requires that recipients of testimony monitor testifiers with respect to their credibility. I argue that this conception, however, proves to be untenable when confronted with the wealth of empirical evidence bearing on the ways in which testifiers and their interlocutors actually interact.
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  • You do the maths: rules, extension, and cognitive responsibility.Tom Roberts - 2012 - Philosophical Explorations 15 (2):133 - 145.
    The hypothesis of extended cognition holds that mental states and processes need not be wholly contained within biological confines. Yet the theory is plausible, and informative, only when it can set principled outer limits upon cognitive extension: it should not permit unrestricted expansion of the mental into the material environment. I argue that true cognitive extension occurs only when the subject takes responsibility for the contribution made by a non-neural resource, in a manner that can be illuminated by appeal to (...)
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  • Trust and contextualism.Snjezana Prijic-Samarzija - 2007 - Acta Analytica 22 (2):125-138.
    The objective of this paper is to apply the general idea of contextualism, as a theory of knowledge attribution, to the very specific case of testimony and trust characterized as being the procedure of the attribution of knowledge (and sincerity) to the informant. In the first part, I argue in favor of evidentialism, a viewpoint that takes epistemically responsible trust as a matter of evidence. In the second part, I consider the question of how strong an evidential basis has to (...)
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  • O conhecimento com base no testemunho.Caetano Ernesto Plastino - 2017 - Discurso 47 (2):9-24.
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  • In defense of non-reductionism in the epistemology of testimony.Timothy Perrine - 2014 - Synthese 191 (14):3227-3237.
    Almost everyone agrees that many testimonial beliefs constitute knowledge. According to non-reductionists, some testimonial beliefs possess positive epistemic status independent of that conferred by perception, memory, and induction. Recently, Jennifer Lackey has provided a counterexample to a popular version of this view. Here I argue that her counterexample fails.
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  • Testimony and the epistemic uncertainty of interpretation.Andrew Peet - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (2):395-416.
    In the epistemology of testimony it is often assumed that audiences are able to reliably recover asserted contents. In the philosophy of language this claim is contentious. This paper outlines one problem concerning the recovery of asserted contents, and argues that it prevents audiences from gaining testimonial knowledge in a range of cases. The recovery problem, in essence, is simply that due to the collective epistemic limitations of the speaker and audience speakers will, in certain cases, be insensitive to the (...)
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  • Excelencia e innovación en las tecnologías de la comunicación y de la imagen: Reconstrucción de un debate entre Wiesing, Levinson, Crowther y Seel.Carlos Ortiz de Landázuri - 2012 - Human Review. International Humanities Review / Revista Internacional de Humanidades 1 (2).
    Los criterios de excelencia e innovación a la hora de valorar las tecnologías de la comunicación se ven afectados por un gran número de factores, pero al final hay uno que prima sobre todos los demás: la calidad de la imágenes utilizadas, como sucede con National Geographic y Walt Disney, dos empresas de comunicación que han sido determinantes a la hora de fijar los criterios estándar de excelencia e innovación. En este contexto se reconstruye el debate contemporáneo entre Wiesing, Levinson, (...)
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  • Epistemic Vigilance and Epistemic Responsibility in the Liquid World of Scientific Publications.Gloria Origgi - 2010 - Social Epistemology 24 (3):149-159.
    In this paper I try to challenge some received views about the role and the function of the traditional academic practice of publishing papers in peer?reviewed journals. I argue that our publishing practices today are rather based on passively accepted social norms and humdrum work habits than on actual needs for communicating the advancements of our research. By analysing some examples of devices and practices that are based on tacitly accepted norms, such as the Citation Index and the new role (...)
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  • Making it Public: Testimony and Socially Sanctioned Common Grounds.Paula Olmos - 2007 - Informal Logic 27 (2):211-227.
    Contrary to current individualistic epistemology, Classical rhetoric provides us with a pragmatical and particularly dynamic conception of ‘testimony’ as a source made available for the orator by the particular community in which she acts. In order to count as usable testimony, a testimony to which one could appeal in further communications, any discourse must comply with specific rules of social sanction. A deliberate attention to the social practices in which testimony is given and assessed may offer us a more accurate (...)
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  • Thought styles and paradigms—a comparative study of Ludwik Fleck and Thomas S. Kuhn.Nicola Mößner - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (2):362–371.
    At first glance there seem to be many similarities between Thomas S. Kuhn’s and Ludwik Fleck’s accounts of the development of scientific knowledge. Notably, both pay attention to the role played by the scientific community in the development of scientific knowledge. But putting first impressions aside, one can criticise some philosophers for being too hasty in their attempt to find supposed similarities in the works of the two men. Having acknowledged that Fleck anticipated some of Kuhn’s later theses, there seems (...)
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  • Entkräftung und Widerruf: Fügsame Überzeugungen im Zeitverlauf.Benjamin McMyler - 2019 - Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 67 (6):992-1007.
    A speaker’s retraction of her own previous testimony serves to defeat the reason for belief provided by her testimony in a distinctive way. In telling an addressee that p, the speaker purports to settle for the addressee the question whether p. In retracting her testimony, the speaker then revokes her settling of this question for the addressee, cancelling the addressee’s entitlement to pass the epistemic buck back to her should the content of her belief be challenged, and this entitlement is (...)
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  • Testimonial Knowledge from Lies.Kevin McCain - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (2):459-468.
    Recently, Dan O’Brien has argued that there are situations in which a hearer can gain testimonial knowledge from a speaker who is lying. In order to make his case, O’Brien presents two examples where a speaker lies to a hearer, but supposedly the hearer comes to have testimonial knowledge on the basis of the lying speaker’s testimony. O’Brien claims that his examples demonstrate that lies can be used to pass on knowledge in a non-inferential fashion. I argue that O’Brien is (...)
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  • Explanationist aid for phenomenal conservatism.Kevin McCain - 2018 - Synthese 195 (7):3035-3050.
    Phenomenal conservatism is a popular theory of epistemic justification. Despite its popularity and the fact that some think that phenomenal conservatism can provide a complete account of justification, it faces several challenges. Among these challenges are the need to provide accounts of defeaters and inferential justification. Fortunately, there is hope for phenomenal conservatism. Explanationism, the view on which justification is a matter of explanatory considerations, can help phenomenal conservatism with both of these challenges. The resulting view is one that respects (...)
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  • Process reliabilism, virtue reliabilism, and the value of knowledge.Justin P. McBrayer - 2007 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 45 (2):289-302.
    The value problem for knowledge is the problem of explaining why knowledge is cognitively more valuable than mere true belief. If an account of the nature of knowledge is unable to solve the value problemfor knowledge, this provides a pro tanto reason to reject that account. Recent literature argues that process reliabilism is unable to solve the value problem because it succumbs to an objection known as theswamping objection. Virtue reliabilism, on the other hand, is able to solve the value (...)
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  • Hearsay viewed through the lens of trust, reputation and coherence.Francesco Martini - 2017 - Synthese 194 (10):4083-4099.
    Hearsay or indirect testimony receives little discussion even today in epistemology, and yet it represents one of the cardinal modes for the transmission of knowledge and for human cognitive development. It suffices to think of school education whereby a student listens to teachers reporting knowledge acquired, often indirectly, from the most varied sources such as text books, newspapers, personal memory, television, etc… Or let us consider the importance of oral tradition in the social and cultural development of civilisations. Or even (...)
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  • Epistemology of testimony and values in science.Tihamér Margitay - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):1539-1553.
    The paper has two interconnected objectives. It argues that the intrinsic epistemic value of testimonies can be reduced to their moral and social values, that is, to their competent, conscientious, and honest performance. Consequently, competence, conscientiousness, and honesty are intrinsic epistemic values in science. The second objective is to offer an answer to the questions why and under what conditions a hearer can rationally accept a testimony in science. The values and subsequent norms of testimony are espoused and strictly enforced (...)
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  • Questioning the use value of qualitative research findings.Martin Lipscomb - 2012 - Nursing Philosophy 13 (2):112-125.
    In this paper the use value of qualitative research findings to nurses in practice is questioned. More precisely it is argued that, insofar as action follows belief then, in all but the rarest of cases, the beliefs that nurses in practice can justifiably derive from or form on the basis of qualitative research findings do not sanction action in the world and the assumption, apparently widely held, that qualitative research can as evidence productively inform practice collapses. If qualitative research does (...)
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  • Virtue signalling is virtuous.Neil Levy - 2021 - Synthese 198 (10):9545-9562.
    The accusation of virtue signalling is typically understood as a serious charge. Those accused usually respond by attempting to show that they are doing no such thing. In this paper, I argue that we ought to embrace the charge, rather than angrily reject it. I argue that this response can draw support from cognitive science, on the one hand, and from social epistemology on the other. I claim that we may appropriately concede that what we are doing is virtue signalling, (...)
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  • Due deference to denialism: explaining ordinary people’s rejection of established scientific findings.Neil Levy - 2019 - Synthese 196 (1):313-327.
    There is a robust scientific consensus concerning climate change and evolution. But many people reject these expert views, in favour of beliefs that are strongly at variance with the evidence. It is tempting to try to explain these beliefs by reference to ignorance or irrationality, but those who reject the expert view seem often to be no worse informed or any less rational than the majority of those who accept it. It is also tempting to try to explain these beliefs (...)
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  • After the Pandemic: New Responsibilities.Neil Levy & Julian Savulescu - 2021 - Public Health Ethics 14 (2):120-133.
    Seasonal influenza kills many hundreds of thousands of people every year. We argue that the current pandemic has lessons we should learn concerning how we should respond to it. Our response to the COVID-19 not only provides us with tools for confronting influenza; it also changes our sense of what is possible. The recognition of how dramatic policy responses to COVID-19 were and how widespread their general acceptance has been allowed us to imagine new and more sweeping responses to influenza. (...)
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  • The nature of testimony.Jennifer Lackey - 2006 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 87 (2):177–197.
    I discuss several views of the nature of testimony and show how each proposal has importantly different problems. I then offer a diagnosis of the widespread disagreement regarding this topic; specifically, I argue that our concept of testimony has two different aspects to it. Inadequate views of testimony, I claim, result either from collapsing these two aspects into a single account or from a failure to recognize one of them. Finally, I develop an alternative view of testimony that captures both (...)
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  • Learning from words.Jennifer Lackey - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (1):77–101.
    There is a widely accepted family of views in the epistemology of testimony centering around the claim that belief is the central item involved in a testimonial exchange. For instance, in describing the process of learning via testimony, Elizabeth Fricker provides the following: “one language-user has a belief, which gives rise to an utterance by him; as a result of observing this utterance another user of the same language, his audience, comes to share that belief.” In a similar spirit, Alvin (...)
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  • Knowing from testimony.Jennifer Lackey - 2006 - Philosophy Compass 1 (5):432–448.
  • Acting on knowledge.Jennifer Lackey - 2010 - Philosophical Perspectives 24 (1):361-382.
  • Divine self-testimony and the knowledge of God.Rolfe King - 2013 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 74 (3):279-295.
    A proof is offered that aims to show that there can be no knowledge of God, excluding knowledge based on natural theology, without divine self-testimony. Both special and general revelation, if they occur, would be forms of divine self-testimony. It is argued that this indicates that the best way to model such knowledge of God is on the basis of an analogy with knowledge gained through testimony, rather than perceptual models of knowledge, such as the prominent model defended by Plantinga. (...)
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  • Proper function and defeating experiences.Daniel M. Johnson - 2011 - Synthese 182 (3):433-447.
    Jonathan Kvanvig has argued that what he terms “doxastic” theories of epistemic justification fail to account for certain epistemic features having to do with evidence. I’m going to give an argument roughly along these lines, but I’m going to focus specifically on proper function theories of justification or warrant. In particular, I’ll focus on Michael Bergmann’s recent proper function account of justification, though the argument applies also to Alvin Plantinga’s proper function account of warrant. The epistemic features I’m concerned about (...)
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  • Google Morals, Virtue, and the Asymmetry of Deference.Robert J. Howell - 2014 - Noûs 48 (3):389-415.
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  • Towards Social Accounts of Testimonial Asymmetries.Allan Hazlett - 2017 - Noûs 51 (1):49–73.
    there seems to be some kind of asymmetry, at least in some cases, between moral testimony and non-moral testimony, between aesthetic testimony and non-aesthetic testimony, and between religious testimony and non-religious testimony. In these domains, at least in some cases, we object to deference, and for this reason expect people to form their beliefs on non-testimonial grounds, in a way that we do not object to deference in paradigm cases of testimonial knowledge. Our philosophical puzzle is therefore: what explains these (...)
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  • Testimony and knowing how.Katherine Hawley - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 (4):397-404.
    Much of what we learn from talking and listening does not qualify as testimonial knowledge: we can learn a great deal from other people without simply accepting what they say as being true. In this article, I examine the ways in which we acquire skills or knowledge how from our interactions with other people, and I discuss whether there is a useful notion of testimonial knowledge how.Keywords: Knowledge how; Practical knowledge; Tacit knowledge; Testimony; Skills; Assertion.
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  • Testimonial knowledge in early childhood, revisited.Sanford C. Goldberg - 2008 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 76 (1):1–36.
    Many epistemologists agree that even very young children sometimes acquire knowledge through testimony. In this paper I address two challenges facing this view. The first (building on a point made in Lackey (2005)) is the defeater challenge, which is to square the hypothesis that very young children acquire testimonial knowledge with the fact that children (whose cognitive immaturity prevents them from having or appreciating reasons) cannot be said to satisfy the No-Defeaters condition on knowledge. The second is the extension challenge, (...)
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  • The Division of Epistemic Labor.Sandy Goldberg - 2011 - Episteme 8 (1):112-125.
    In this paper I formulate the thesis of the Division of Epistemic Labor as a thesis of epistemic dependence, illustrate several ways in which individual subjects are epistemically dependent on one or more of the members of their community in the process of knowledge acquisition, and draw conclusions about the cognitively distributed nature of some knowledge acquisition.
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  • Modeling Corroborative Evidence: Inference to the Best Explanation as Counter–Rebuttal.David Godden - 2014 - Argumentation 28 (2):187-220.
    Corroborative evidence has a dual function in argument. Primarily, it functions to provide direct evidence supporting the main conclusion. But it also has a secondary, bolstering function which increases the probative value of some other piece of evidence in the argument. This paper argues that the bolstering effect of corroborative evidence is legitimate, and can be explained as counter–rebuttal achieved through inference to the best explanation. A model (argument diagram) of corroborative evidence, representing its structure and operation as a schematic (...)
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  • I—Elizabeth Fricker: Stating and Insinuating.Elizabeth Fricker - 2012 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 86 (1):61-94.
    An utterer may convey a message to her intended audience by means of an explicit statement; or by a non‐conventionally mediated one‐off signal from which the audience is able to work out the intended message; or by conversational implicature. I investigate whether the last two are equivalent to explicit testifying, as communicative act and epistemic source. I find that there are important differences between explicit statement and insinuation; only with the first does the utterer assume full responsibility for the truth (...)
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  • Educating the design stance: Issues of coherence and transgression.Norman H. Freeman & Melissa L. Allen - 2013 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 36 (2):141 - 142.
    Bullot & Reber (B&R) put forth a design stance to fuse psychological and art historical accounts of visual thinking into a single theory. We argue that this aspect of their proposal needs further fine-tuning. Issues of transgression and coherence are necessary to provide stability to the design stance. We advocate looking to Art Education for such fundamentals of picture understanding.
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  • Knowledge, Belief, and Science Education.Tiago Alfredo S. Ferreira, Charbel N. El-Hani & Waldomiro José da Silva-Filho - 2016 - Science & Education 25 (7-8):775-794.
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  • El conocimiento como una actividad colectiva.Ángeles Eraña & Axel Arturo Barceló Aspeitia - 2016 - Tópicos: Revista de Filosofía 51:9-36.
    En este ensayo exploramos una perspectiva epistemológica en la que el elemento social y colectivo del conocimiento juega un papel fundamental en la explicación de su producción y transmisión. Primero presentamos y criticamos una posición individualista que ha sido dominante en la epistemología contemporánea y cuyas raíces pueden trazarse, al menos, hasta Descartes. Posteriormente introducimos y defendemos nuestra propia mirada, una en la que el conocimiento es un proceso constituido por un conjunto de actividades y prácticas que tiene un carácter (...)
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  • Should one trust experts?Hein Duijf - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):9289-9312.
    Should one trust experts? My answer to this question is a qualified ‘no’. In this paper I explore the conditions under which it is rational to trust and defer to experts, and those under which it may be rational to refrain from doing so. I draw on two important factors for an actor’s trust in a partner: trust depends on the partner’s competence and on the partner’s interests. I propose that the conditions under which it is rational to trust and (...)
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  • Knowledge as a social kind.Leandro De Brasi - 2017 - Filosofia Unisinos 18 (3):130-139.
    This paper motivates an account of knowledge as a social kind, following a cue by Edward Craig, which captures two major insights behind social and feminist epistemologies, in particular our epistemic interdependence concerning knowledge and the role of social regulative practices in understanding knowledge.
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  • EPISTEMOLOGIA DO TESTEMUNHO: críticas à refutação do reducionismo local quanto ao desempenho justificacional do testemunho.Ronaldo Miguel Da Silva - 2014 - Cadernos Do Pet Filosofia 5 (9):17-32.
    A epistemologia do testemunho tem reacendido forte interesse entre a classe dos atuais epistemólogos. Tem sido redescoberta a sua indispensabilidade epistêmica e reassumida a posição de que o testemunho é uma fonte de crenças penetrante e natural, no qual muitas das crenças nele fundamentadas constituem conhecimento e estão justificadas. Reducionistas e antirreducionistas se alternam, repetidamente, para explicar o papel epistêmico do testemunho na justificação da crença testemunhal, gerando um acirrado debate na epistemologia contemporânea. Advogada do Reducionismo local, Elizabeth Fricker refuta (...)
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  • Communication between friends.Dan O'Brien - 2009 - Empedocles: European Journal for the Philosophy of Communication 1 (1):27-41.
    One kind of successful communication involves the transmission of knowledge from speaker to hearer. Such testimonial knowledge transmission is usually seen as conforming to three widely held epistemological approaches: reliabilism, impartialism and evidentialism. First, a speaker must be a reliable testifier in order that she transmits knowledge, and reliability is cashed out in terms of her likelihood of speaking the truth. Second, if a certain speaker's testimony has sufficient epistemic weight to be believed by hearer1, then it should also be (...)
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