Reconsidering the role of inference to the best explanation in the epistemology of testimony

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 ‟, 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
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1016/j.shpsa.2010.10.001
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,470
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Tyler Burge (1993). Content Preservation. Philosophical Review 102 (4):457-488.
David Hume (2009). An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), The Monist. Oxford University Press. pp. 112.
Elizabeth Fricker (1994). Against Gullibility. In A. Chakrabarti & B. K. Matilal (eds.), Knowing from Words. Kluwer Academic Publishers.
H. P. Grice (1957). Meaning. Philosophical Review 66 (3):377-388.

View all 25 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
David Botting (2013). A Priori Abduction. Argumentation 27 (2):167-181.
Nicholas Jardine & Marina Frasca-Spada (2015). The Pasts, Presents, and Futures of Testimony. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 52:95-100.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

147 ( #29,353 of 1,925,583 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

15 ( #51,854 of 1,925,583 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.