Dissertation, (2015)

Authors
Andrew Peet
University of Leeds
Abstract
This thesis integrates the epistemology of testimony with work on the epistemology, psychology, and metaphysics of language. Epistemologists of testimony typically ask what conditions must be met for an agent to gain testimonial justification or knowledge that p given that p has been asserted, and this assertion has been understood. Questions regarding the audience's ability to grasp communicated contents are largely ignored. This is a mistake. Work in the philosophy of language suggests that the determination and recovery of communicated contents is far from straightforward, and can go wrong in many ways. This thesis investigates the epistemology of testimony in light of this work, with a special focus on miscommunication. The introduction provides a brief overview of some relevant work on testimony, the philosophy of language, and psychology, and argues that there is good reason to investigate the three. One obvious problem in this area is that if testimonial knowledge requires knowledge of what is said then the risk of miscommunication will block testimonial knowledge. Chapter two argues that testimonial knowledge does not require knowledge of what is said. The remaining four chapters discuss problems which do to arise from miscommunication. Chapters three and four focus on the epistemic uncertainty of communication with context sensitive terms. Chapter three argues that many beliefs formed on the basis of context sensitive testimony are unsafe and insensitive. Chapter four argues that speakers often have plausible deniability about the contents of their assertions. Chapters five and six explore types of miscommunication which arise as a result of background mental states affecting our linguistic understanding. Chapter five explores the social/ethical consequences of this, arguing that certain groups are disproportionately subject to harmful misinterpretation. Chapter six argues that testimonial anti-reductionists make the wrong predictions about a range of cases of cognitive penetration.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 62,343
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

Speaker Intentions in Context.Jeffrey C. King - 2014 - Noûs 48 (2):219-237.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Narrative testimony.Rachel Fraser - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-28.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Testimony and the Epistemic Uncertainty of Interpretation.Andrew Peet - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (2):395-416.
Recent Work on Testimonial Knowledge.John Greco - 2012 - American Philosophical Quarterly 49 (1):15-28.
Testimony, Testimonial Belief, and Safety.Charlie Pelling - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 164 (1):205-217.
Religious Knowledge in the Context of Conflicting Testimony.John Greco - 2009 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 83:61-76.
Sincerity and Transmission.Stephen Wright - 2016 - Ratio 29 (1):42-56.
Group Testimony.Deborah Tollefsen - 2007 - Social Epistemology 21 (3):299 – 311.
Testimony and the Constitutive Norm of Assertion.Casey Rebecca Johnson - 2015 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 23 (3):356-375.
Testimonial Knowledge and Transmission.Jennifer Lackey - 1999 - Philosophical Quarterly 49 (197):471-490.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2015-11-03

Total views
60 ( #176,367 of 2,445,337 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
8 ( #87,834 of 2,445,337 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes