A Defense of Learning from Words

Jennifer Lackey

in Learning from Words

Published in print February 2008 | ISBN: 9780199219162
Published online May 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780191711824 | DOI:
A Defense of Learning from Words

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This chapter develops an alternative picture of testimonial knowledge and justification — called the Statement View of Testimony — that focuses on the epistemic status of the statements of speakers, not of their beliefs. This new conception of testimonial knowledge shows that, strictly speaking, we do not learn from one another's beliefs; we learn from one another's words. The remainder of this chapter is then devoted to defending this view of testimony from three different kinds of objections that have been raised in the recent literature: one that focuses on the counterexamples to the Belief View of Testimony, one that targets the positive Statement View of Testimony, and one that attacks the overall approach to theorizing about the epistemic status of testimony. It is concluded that all three objections fail to pose a problem for the view of the epistemology of testimony developed in this book.

Keywords: Belief View of Testimony; beliefs; epistemology of testimony; justification; knowledge; Statement View of Testimony; statements; testimony

Chapter.  13273 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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