Modeling the social consequences of testimonial norms

Philosophical Studies 172 (9):2371-2383 (2015)

Kevin Zollman
Carnegie Mellon University
This paper approaches the problem of testimony from a new direction. Rather than focusing on the epistemic grounds for testimony, it considers the problem from the perspective of an individual who must choose whom to trust from a population of many would-be testifiers. A computer simulation is presented which illustrates that in many plausible situations, those who trust without attempting to judge the reliability of testifiers outperform those who attempt to seek out the more reliable members of the community. In so doing, it presents a novel defense for the credulist position that argues one should trust testimony without considering the underlying reliability of the testifier
Keywords Testimony  Social epistemology  Computer simulation
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-014-0416-7
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References found in this work BETA

Knowledge in a Social World.Alvin I. Goldman - 1999 - Oxford University Press.
Testimony: A Philosophical Study.C. A. J. Coady - 1992 - Oxford University Press.
Content Preservation.Tyler Burge - 1993 - Philosophical Review 102 (4):457-488.

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Permissive Metaepistemology.David Thorstad - forthcoming - Mind:fzy044.

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