Monitoring and Anti-Reductionism in the Epistemology of Testimony

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 72 (3):600 - 617 (2006)
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Abstract

One of the central points of contention in the epistemology of testimony concerns the uniqueness (or not) of the justification of beliefs formed through testimony--whether such justification can be accounted for in terms of, or 'reduced to,' other familiar sort of justification, e.g. without relying on any epistemic principles unique to testimony. One influential argument for the reductionist position, found in the work of Elizabeth Fricker, argues by appeal to the need for the hearer to monitor the testimony for credibility. Fricker (1994) argues, first, that some monitoring for trustworthiness is required if the hearer is to avoid being gullible, and second, that reductionism but not anti-reductionism is compatible with ascribing an important role to the process of monitoring in the course of justifiably accepting observed testimony. In this paper we argue that such an argument fails.

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Author Profiles

Sanford Goldberg
Northwestern University
David Henderson
University of Warwick

References found in this work

The Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford: Oxford University Press. Edited by John Henry McDowell.
The structure of empirical knowledge.Laurence BonJour - 1985 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Epistemology and cognition.Alvin I. Goldman - 1986 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Theory of knowledge.Roderick M. Chisholm - 1966 - Englewood Cliffs, N.J.,: Prentice-Hall.

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