Dualism in the Epistemology of Testimony

Jennifer Lackey

in Learning from Words

Published in print February 2008 | ISBN: 9780199219162
Published online May 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780191711824 | DOI:
Dualism in the Epistemology of Testimony

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This chapter begins with a diagnosis of the problem afflicting both reductionism and non-reductionism: in a testimonial exchange, information is typically communicated between two central participants, the speaker and the hearer. Reductionists and non-reductionists alike have attempted to place all of the epistemic work on only one or the other of these participants and, in so doing, have ignored the positive epistemic contribution that needs to be made by the other. In contrast to both of these views, it is argued that we need to look toward a view of testimonial justification or warrant — which is called dualism — that gives proper credence to its dual nature by requiring both the truth-conduciveness of the speaker's testimony and the possession of appropriate positive reasons by the hearer. The remainder of this chapter is then devoted to explicating the specific conditions of dualism and defending them from various objections found in the literature on testimony.

Keywords: hearer; justification; non-reductionism; reasons; reductionism; speaker; testimony; truth-conduciveness; warrant

Chapter.  7704 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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