European Journal of Philosophy 28 (1):142-163 (2020)

Authors
Christopher Ranalli
VU University Amsterdam
Abstract
An epistemologist tells you that knowledge is more than justified true belief. You trust them and thus come to believe this on the basis of their testimony. Did you thereby come to know that this view is correct? Intuitively, there is something intellectually wrong with forming philosophical beliefs on the basis of testimony, and yet it's hard to see why philosophy should be significantly epistemically different from other areas of inquiry in a way that would fully prohibit belief by testimony. This, I argue, is the puzzle of philosophical testimony. In this paper, I explore the puzzle of philosophical testimony and its ramifications. In particular, I examine the case for pessimism about philosophical testimony—the thesis that philosophical belief on the basis of testimony is impossible or is in some way illegitimate—and I argue that it lacks adequate support. I then consider whether the source of the apparent intellectual wrongness of testimonial‐based philosophical belief is grounded in non‐epistemic norms and goals of philosophical practice itself and argue that such norms are implausible, don't conflict with testimonial‐based philosophical belief, or else are mere disciplinary norms, lacking substantial normative force that would make it wrong to form testimonial‐based philosophical belief.
Keywords Philosophical testimony  Intellectual autonomy  Philosophical disagreement  Unusability  Disciplinary norms
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DOI 10.1111/ejop.12449
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References found in this work BETA

What Do Philosophers Believe?David Bourget & David J. Chalmers - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 170 (3):465-500.
Understanding Why.Alison Hills - 2015 - Noûs 49 (2):661-688.
In Defense of Moral Testimony.Paulina Sliwa - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 158 (2):175-195.
Knowledge, Understanding and Epistemic Value.Duncan Pritchard - 2009 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 64:19-43.

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