Is the Principle of Testimony Simply Epistemically Fundamental or Simply not? Swinburne on Knowledge by Testimony

In Nicola Mößner, Sebastian Schmoranzer & Christian Weidemann (eds.), Richard Swinburne. Christian Philosophy in a Modern World. Ontos (2008)
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The recently much discussed phenomenon of testimony as a social source of knowledge plays a crucial justificatory role in Richard Swinburne's philosophy of religion. Although Swinburne officially reduces his principle of testimony to the criterion of simplicity and, therefore, to a derivative epistemic source, we will show that simplicity does not play the crucial role in this epistemological context. We will argue that both Swinburne's philosophical ideas and his formulations allow for a fundamental epistemic principle of testimony, by showing that Swinburne has already implicitly justified the use of testimony as an epistemic source via his fundamental a priori principle of credulity.



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Author Profiles

Nicola Mößner
Aachen University of Technology
Markus Seidel
University of Münster

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Testimony: a philosophical study.C. A. J. Coady - 1992 - New York: Oxford University Press.
.R. G. Swinburne - 1989 - Cambridge University Press.
Testimony: A Philosophical Study.C. A. J. Coady - 1992 - Philosophy 68 (265):413-415.
Testimony.Arindam Chakrabarti - 1994 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 54 (4):965-972.

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