Chapter

Testimony and the transmission of knowledge. Welbourne: believing the speaker

Edward Craig

in Knowledge and the State of Nature

Published in print January 1999 | ISBN: 9780198238799
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597237 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198238797.003.0015
 Testimony and the transmission of knowledge. Welbourne: believing the speaker

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Considers the transmission of knowledge by testimony and the principle that if someone who knows that p tells me that p, I myself then know that p. When considered with the notion of the good informant in mind, the principle as it stands is false. The inquirer must in general, to gain knowledge in this way, acquire her information from a person who believes that p, and be disposed to tell others that p as a result of being told that p by the informant (without traversing any deviant route to the belief that p), and have an indicator property that correlates well with having the right answer to whether p. Michael Wellbourne's claim that ‘believing the speaker’ is sufficient for knowledge transmission is criticized as being either straightforwardly false, or relatively unilluminating.

Keywords: deviant causal chain; good informant; indicator property; knowledge; testimony; transmission; Wellbourne

Chapter.  2790 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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