Knowledge on Trust

New York: Oxford University Press (2011)
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Paul Faulkner presents a new theory of testimony - the basis of much of what we know. He addresses the questions of what makes it reasonable to accept a piece of testimony, and what warrants belief formed on that basis. He rejects rival theories and argues that testimonial knowledge and testimonially warranted belief are based on trust.



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The Epistemology of Testimony

An epistemological theory of testimony provides an account of how we acquire knowledge and warranted belief from testimony. This chapter presents an overview of the main theoretical positions, introduces the problem of cooperation that any theory of testimony must address, and states the k... see more

The Reductive Theory

According to the reductive theory of testimony, an audience must possess reasons for testimonial uptake. And testimonial knowledge and warrant are inductive in nature. This chapter considers how the reductive theory can respond to the problem that we have a limited ability to observe the t... see more

Trust and the Transmission of Knowledge

This chapter argues that the reductive theory of testimony suffers two failings. First, it gives an overly restrictive account of when the uptake of testimony is warranted. Consequently, it can only provide a sceptical solution to the problem of cooperation. Second, it is wrong to draw no ... see more

The Non-Reductive Theory

According to the non-reductive theory of testimony, an audience is entitled to believe testimony, other things being equal. And testimony is distinctive as an epistemic source in that it transmits knowledge and warrant. This chapter outlines four arguments for an entitlement to believe tes... see more

Trust and the Uptake of Testimony

This chapter argues that the non-reductive theory of testimony suffers two failings. First, the idea that we have an entitlement to believe testimony gets things wrong descriptively. Either it wrongly takes gullibly formed beliefs to be warranted, or it wrongly takes beliefs formed on trus... see more

The Assurance Theory

This chapter presents the assurance theory of testimony developed by Richard Moran. It argues that this theory faces a dilemma: in order to receive a speaker’s assurance, an audience must trust, but our warrant for trust seems to come either from a non-reductive entitlement or be reductive... see more

Trust and the Institution of Testimony

It is possible to treat a single piece of testimony both as offering a speaker’s assurance and as providing a bit of evidence. This chapter considers how this is possible through an examination of Bernard Williams’s genealogical explanation of our valuing the disposition of Sincerity. This... see more

The Trust Theory

This chapter draws together the conclusions of previous chapters to present the trust theory of testimony. According to this theory, one needs to possess reasons to be warranted in testimonial uptake, but it is reasons one does not possess that warrant one’s testimonial beliefs. Simply put... see more

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Paul Faulkner
University of Sheffield

Citations of this work

Trust.Carolyn McLeod - 2020 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Robust Virtue Epistemology As Anti‐Luck Epistemology: A New Solution.J. Adam Carter - 2016 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 97 (1):140-155.

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