The Epistemology of Testimony: Locke and His Critics

In Stephen Howard & Jack Stetter (eds.), The Edinburgh Critical History of Early Modern and Enlightenment Philosophy. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press (forthcoming)
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Contemporary discussions of the epistemology of testimony are often framed in terms of the disagreement on this topic between Hume and Reid. However, it is widely assumed that, prior to Hume, philosophers in the grip of Enlightenment individualism neglected philosophical questions about testimony, simply treating testimony as ordinary empirical evidence. In fact, although the evidential model of testimony was popular in early modern philosophy, it was also the subject of vigorous debate. This chapter examines Locke's defence of the evidential model of testimony along with the opposing views of three early critics of Locke: G. W. Leibniz, Mary Astell, and Peter Browne.



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Kenneth L. Pearce
James Madison University

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Belief, Credence, and Pragmatic Encroachment.Jacob Ross & Mark Schroeder - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (2):259-288.
Summa Theologiae (1265-1273).Thomas Aquinas - 1911 - Edited by John Mortensen & Enrique Alarcón.
Testimony: a philosophical study.C. A. J. Coady - 1992 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Testimony, Trust, and Authority.Benjamin McMyler - 2011 - , US: Oxford University Press.

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