Social Epistemology 29 (3):251-269 (2015)

Karyn L. Freedman
University of Guelph
In this paper, I give an answer to the central epistemic question regarding the normative requirements for beliefs based on testimony. My suggestion here is that our best strategy for coming up with the conditions for justification is to look at cases where the adoption of the belief matters to the person considering it. This leads me to develop, in Part One of the paper, an interest-relative theory of justification, according to which our justification for a proposition p depends on our evidence in favour of p in proportion to our interest in p, as signalled by the epistemic risk we take in believing that p is true. In Part Two, I argue that this theory shows that the reductivist view offers a better normative account for the epistemic status of beliefs based on testimony than the credulist one, but it is inaptly named; the view I develop here is better conceived of as The Dependence Account.
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DOI 10.1080/02691728.2014.884183
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References found in this work BETA

Testimony: A Philosophical Study.C. A. J. Coady - 1992 - Oxford University Press.
Content Preservation.Tyler Burge - 1993 - Philosophical Review 102 (4):457-488.
An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding.David Hume - 1955 - In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Exploring Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology. Oxford University Press. pp. 112.
Evidence, Pragmatics, and Justification.Jeremy Fantl & Matthew McGrath - 2002 - Philosophical Review 111 (1):67-94.
How Truth Governs Belief.Nishi Shah - 2003 - Philosophical Review 112 (4):447-482.

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Citations of this work BETA

Oral History and The Epistemology of Testimony.Tim Kenyon - 2016 - Social Epistemology 30 (1):45-66.
Group Accountability Versus Justified Belief: A Reply to Kukla.Karyn L. Freedman - 2015 - Social Epistemology Reply and Review Collective.
Testing What’s at Stake: Defending Stakes Effects for Testimony.Michel Croce & Paul Poenicke - 2017 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 36 (3):163-183.

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