Socially Distributed Cognition and the Epistemology of Testimony

In Miranda Fricker, Peter Graham, David Henderson & Nikolaj Jang Pedersen (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Social Epistemology. New York, NY, USA: pp. 87-95 (forthcoming)

Authors
Joseph Shieber
Lafayette College
Abstract
Most discussions of the epistemology of testimony include personalist requirements. These include either requirements that stipulate certain features that individual testifiers must have in order to count as transmitters of knowledge, or that stipulate certain features that individual recipients of testimony must have in order to count as acquiring knowledge on the basis of that testimony. For example, in the former case, many views require that testifiers be competent and honest, whereas, in the latter case, many views require that recipients of testimony employ faculties for reliably assessing the competence and honesty of testifiers. After presenting and discussing problems for both of these personalist requirements, in this chapter we consider a social epistemology of testimony based on socially distributed cognitive systems, an epistemology of testimony that eschews both forms of personalist requirement.
Keywords testimony  social epistemology  epistemology  knowledge  distributed cognition
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